1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2-4 tbsp ice water
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
- Begin by preparing the crust. In a medium bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt.
- Mix until well combined then add the cubed butter and, with your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the flour resembles coarse sand with pea sized pieces of butter remaining.
- Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a shaggy ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press the dough into a rough disk. Fold the disk in half and flatten it out into a disk. Repeat this process three more times, or until the dough is smooth, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour or up to three days.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle that is about 1/8-inch thick. Turn the dough often, and dust the surface with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Carefully fold the crust in half and place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold and press the crust into the pan. Do not pull or stretch the dough. Trim the crust so there is a ½-inch overhang around the edge of the pan. Fold the excess crust under and crimp the dough with a fork or your fingers. Gently prick the bottom of the crust a few times with a fork to help prevent large air bubbles from forming under the crust.
- Line the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill the crust with dry beans or pie weights.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the lining and pie weights and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the crust is golden brown all over. Allow the crust to cool completely to room temperature.
- Next, prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan add the brown sugar and butter.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 30 seconds, or until the mixture starts to smell like caramel, then remove the mixture from the heat.
- In the work bowl of a food processor or blender add the half and half, cornstarch, and egg yolks. Blend for 30 seconds to combine then gradually, with the blender or food processor still running, begin adding the hot sugar mixture a tablespoon at a time until half the mixture is added. Stop the blender and add the remaining mixture and blend for 30 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.
- Return the mixture to the sauce pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 8-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the filling. Cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days.
- When you are ready to serve prepare the whipped cream topping. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine the powdered sugar, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the cream forms soft peaks, about 2-3 minutes.
- Pipe or spread the cream on the pie as desired. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.