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Monday, January 28, 2013

Butterscotch Pudding

I have made no less than a dozen butterscotch pudding recipes over the last couple of years. The problem is with over cooking them and they turn out lumpy. I've tried every different method. There was one that I was so excited about. I tasted it before I put it in the fridge to cool and it was great, but in the morning I pulled it out and it was hard and lumpy. Made me wish I had eaten it all the night before. So, I was thrilled when I found this recipe in Cook's Illustrated that said Butterscotch pudding can be time consuming and difficult with the old traditional method. Hooray, it's not just me. If Cook's Illustrated says it is so, then it must be true. They claimed this new method of pouring the hot caramel sauce over the eggs and cornstarch worked better. They were right, this is probably the most silky smooth pudding I have ever eaten.
Why so many pudding recipes, you ask? It's not like this space is lacking for pudding recipes. There are already recipes for Meyer Lemon, Banana, and Tapioca pudding. I feel that I could never have too many basic pudding recipes. Basic pudding is great because it isn't one of those desserts that comes already portioned. Just want a bite of something sweet? You can do that with pudding. Want to eat the whole bowl? I wouldn't advise it, but you can do that too!
So, I won't apologize for another pudding recipe. Who doesn't love pudding? Butterscotch is really a staple in the pudding world. It ranks right up there with chocolate and vanilla. Come to think of it, there aren't recipes here for those flavors either. Back to the kitchen for me. I might just have to try this new method on those flavors too.
What's your favorite flavor of pudding?
Butterscotch Pudding
adapted from Cook's Illustrated

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum

Measure out butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, corn syrup, lemon juice, and salt into a large saucepan. Before turning on the heat, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Pour 1/4 cup of the whole milk into a small saucepan and set aside for now.
Measure out the remaining 2 cups of milk and set aside in a separate bowl, or just leave in a large measuring cup if you have one.
Pour cream into a 1 cup measuring cup and set aside. You will need the cream in a measuring cup as you will be pouring out 1/4 cup later.
Whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch in a large bowl and set aside. I like to use a large 8 cup measuring cup for this.
In a small pinch bowl add the vanilla extract and rum, set aside. Now you are ready to go.

Place the large prepared saucepan that includes the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar and melt butter. Once mixture is at full rolling boil, cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes (caramel will register about 240 degrees, don't worry so much if it is not, I just go by site and don't use a thermometer). Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer (caramel should maintain steady stream of lazy bubbles—if not, adjust heat accordingly), stirring frequently, until mixture is color of dark peanut butter, 12 to 16 minutes longer. You want it to get nice and dark without burning it (caramel will register about 300 degrees).

Remove pan from heat; carefully pour 1/4 cup cream into caramel mixture and swirl to incorporate (mixture will bubble up and steam); let bubbling subside. Whisk vigorously and scrape corners of pan until mixture is completely smooth. Return pan to medium heat and gradually whisk in remaining 3/4 cup cream until smooth. Whisk in the 2 cups milk until mixture is smooth, making sure to scrape corners and edges of pan to remove any remaining bits of caramel. Keep heat on medium.

Meanwhile, bring the ¼ cup milk in a small saucepan to a simmer over medium heat. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg yolk and corn starch mixture, whisk until smooth.

Return large saucepan to medium-high heat and bring mixture to full rolling boil, whisking frequently. Once mixture is boiling rapidly and beginning to climb toward top of pan, immediately pour into bowl with yolk mixture in 1 motion (do not add gradually). Whisk thoroughly for 10 to 15 seconds (mixture will thicken after a few seconds). Whisk in vanilla and rum. Spray piece of parchment paper with vegetable oil spray and press on surface of pudding, unless you like pudding skin, then leave it off. Cover and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours. Whisk pudding until smooth before serving (I didn't find this step necessary).


  1. This looks great! I am excited to try it out. What about chocolate espresso pudding? I love chocolate mousse with a bit of instant espresso; it's like a melted brownie :)

  2. Greetings from google plus. These look soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.

  3. Butterscotch was always my favorite pudding flavor. I have sooo got to try this recipe!


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