Gooey Butter Pie
If you like gooey butter bars, you’ll LOVE this gooey butter pie! Sweet, buttery custard, cradled in the flakiest pie crust ever!
A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to visit Nashville, Tennessee! This was such a fun trip for me and so exciting. Nashville has been on my bucket list for ages, and it did not disappoint!
The trip was sponsored by my friends at White Lily Flour, and they gave me quite the tour. Most of the time when I travel for business, I don’t really have time to enjoy whatever city I’m in. But White Lily really knows how to roll out the red carpet. They took me to all the best restaurants, and I really got a taste of southern cuisine.
I even had a chance to explore the Gulch and downtown areas, thanks to my friend Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil! Thanks for a great time Lindsay!
When Lindsay and I were touring around the Gulch, we stumbled across the cutest little candy shop called Colt’s. They were so warm and welcoming there, and there were samples everywhere you looked. I could not resist, and ate more than my fair share. It was all so good! But the gooey butter bars really captured my attention.
I first became aware of the gooey butter thing about 10 years ago, with the cake mix/cream cheese recipe that became popular thanks to Food Network. Then, I learned that an even better version had been around for generations in St. Louis. But Colt’s version was completely different from either of those.
There was a thin, crumbly shortbread base, a delicate ribbon of what tasted like pecan pie filling, and a tall layer of custard-y goodness on top. It was almost like creme brulee, but with a hint of cream cheese.
I was kinda blown away, and ended up seeing this or a similar version at no less than three other Nashville establishments. I guess this is a real Nashville thing!
Anyhow, I should get to the point. With today being Pi Day (3.14, just like the mathematical constant), I thought it would be fun to try and recreate the Nashville gooey butter phenomenon, in pie form!
I really don’t think anything could quite touch Colt’s, but this gooey butter pie comes darn close! There’s that same creamy custard with a hint of cream cheese, the warm brown sugar and vanilla, and that ribbon of caramel-y chopped pecans, all cradled in the flakiest homemade pie crust!
If you are a fan of gooey butter bars, you’ve gotta try this gooey butter pie! It’s all about the gooey butter topping, only here it gets all the glory as a creamy, buttery pie filling. So much goodness!
Be sure to use White Lily Flour for your pie crust! It’s milled from 100% soft red winter wheat, for the lightest, flakiest pie crust you can imagine. It’s been a pantry staple for southern cooks for generations, and is becoming more widely available across the country. If you can’t find it at your local store, click here to order online.
More great pie recipes on my “Pies & Tarts” Pinterest board!
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Gooey Butter Pie
For the crust
For the filling
- 1/3 cup (33 g) finely chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter,, softened
- 4 ounces (113.4 g) cream cheese, (half a block), softened
- 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar,, firmly packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose Flour
- 3/4 teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) kosher salt*, (scant)
- 1 cup (238 g) heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- salted caramel sauce
- sweetened whipped cream
- finely chopped pecans
To make the crust:
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the oil, and stir with a whisk until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Cut the butter into thin slices and toss in the flour mixture to coat.
- Dribble ice water in, a tablespoon at a time, mixing just until the mixture can hold it’s shape.
- Gather the dough into a ball, wrap the disks tightly, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Roll the dough out to ¼” thickness, and fold into thirds. Fold into thirds again and refrigerate for another hour.
- Unwrap the dough, and on a lightly floured surface, roll to about two inches larger than the diameter of the pie plate.
- Slip the dough into the ungreased pie plate, cut off any excess dough, and fold and crimp the edge.
- Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
To make the filling:
- Scatter the chopped pecans in an even layer over the bottom of the unbaked pie shell, and drizzle with salted caramel sauce.
- Chill in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Add the brown sugar, and continue to beat on medium speed until fluffy.
- Stir in the egg until incorporated.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then stir in the flour and salt until well-blended.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then mix in the cream and vanilla.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared pie shell, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the filling is set.
- Cool completely before slicing, then garnish with salted caramel sauce, sweetened whipped cream, and/or chopped pecans.