butterscotch pudding – not a powder mixed into cold milk

Butterscotch Pudding is not a powder mixed into cold milk, contrary to popular belief.

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk

Butterscotch Pudding, a gorgeous blend of, surprisingly, butter and scotch whiskey added to a full cream caramel custard is the quintessential queen of puddings. When I was a little girl, butterscotch pudding was a flavoured powder mixed with cold milk. Who knew?

The scariest part of making a true butterscotch pudding is working with homemade caramel. If you’ve never made it before, you’ll probably feel panicked as to whether you’re burning the sugar. It actually needs to smoke, a little, to get to the color you want. Next will be the moment you pour the cream mixture into your caramel and watch it become an amber fossil. Not to worry, with enough heat and whisking, the crystalized caramel melts into the hot cream creating a lovely golden liquid. The last pudding hurdle to jump is finishing it without lumps…

I hosted my book club on Thursday evening. I thought I’d multitask and write a post about the butterscotch pudding I was serving. My work flowed effortlessly. I’d made this pudding so many times, I was on autopilot. My familiarity with the recipe freed up my attention so that I could focus, no pun intended, on the photography. I wanted a bird’s-eye view of the finished custard in the pot. As my camera’s focal point came into view, I saw my butterscotch pudding curdling into lumps of goop. I grabbed the pot from the heat, quickly dumped the over-cooked glob of butterscotch into the bowl of my stand-mixer and whisked it back to a creamy consistency albeit thicker than it should’ve been. Moral of the story: butterscotch pudding thickens quickly so there’s no time to climb up onto the counter to take a photograph!

The snow drags on. The height of our snowbanks is directly proportionate to the low of our spirits. Yesterday was the first day of spring. Another storm is looming. There’s nothing to do but make butterscotch pudding and dream of the sun.

BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING
Serves 6

2 cups heavy whipping cream
¼ cup whole milk
1 extra-large egg yolk
1 extra-large egg
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Scotch whiskey

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk
THE STEPS:

  • Mix the cream and milk together in a medium bowl.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolk, egg and cornstarch together.

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk

  • Place the brown sugar, salt and ¼ cup of water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat.
  • Cook the sugar, without stirring until the sugar is smoking and a very dark caramel color – 5 minutes. Swirl the pan occasionally for even cooking.
  • Reduce the heat to low.

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk

  • Whisk in the cream-milk mixture in a steady stream. The sugar will harden. Increase the heat to high and stir until the hardened sugar has dissolved and the mixture is liquid again – 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat.
  • Gradually whisk in half of the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture. This will prevent the cream mixture from scrambling the eggs.

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk

  • Gradually add the contents of the bowl to the pot with the remaining caramel, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • Cook the custard over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but no more.
  • Remove the custard from the heat and whisk in the butter and whiskey.
  • Decant into serving dishes then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • Garnish with crème fraiche or whipped cream to serve.

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk
THE LOVE: Don’t move away from the stove after you’ve added the cornstarch mixture!

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk

Thanks for reading.

photography by michelle

butterscotch pudding - not a powder mixed into cold milk
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AUTHOR:
Yield: 6
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey
THE STEPS:
  1. Mix the cream and milk together in a medium bowl.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolk, egg and cornstarch together.
  3. Place the brown sugar, salt and ¼ cup of water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat.
  4. Cook the sugar, without stirring until the sugar is smoking and a very dark caramel color - 5 minutes. Swirl the pan occasionally for even cooking.
  5. Reduce the heat to low.
  6. Whisk in the cream-milk mixture in a steady stream. The sugar will harden. Increase the heat to high and stir until the hardened sugar has dissolved and the mixture is liquid again - 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat.
  8. Gradually whisk in half of the hot cream mixture to the the egg mixture. This will prevent the cream mixture from scrambling the eggs.
  9. Gradually add the contents of the bowl to the pot with the remaining caramel, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  10. Cook the custard over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but no more.
  11. Remove the custard from the heat and whisk in the butter and whiskey.
  12. Decant into serving dishes then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  13. Garnish with crème fraiche or whipped cream to serve.
THE LOVE:
Don't move away from the stove after you've added the cornstarch mixture!

 

  • On this snowy day, your recipe sounds like the cure. What book is your club currently reading?

    • We just finished The Gargoyle but I wouldn’t recommend it. We read Gentemen and Players – fabulous!

  • Lori

    Love your quote ~ The height of our snowbanks is directly proportionate to the low of our spirits ~ I think you nailed it. We feel beaten ~ broken and wondering if we will ever see Spring this year…..