Pudding – SF

Posted on April 19, 2011

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There is no easy way to photograph pudding.  Not that I’m making excuses (poor indoor lighting, a green dish that makes my pudding look sickly).  All of my pudding photos look like the second (or actually third) coming of The Blob.

Why am I telling you this?

Because photos don’t do pudding the justice it deserves.  Long ago relegated to hospitals or cafeterias, pudding is overdue for a comeback.

It’s the ultimate comfort food.  The silkiness of custard combined with the creaminess of ice cream… It’s the food that our childhoods are made of: poured into pie shells (hello chocolate pudding pie) and used in trifles (banana pudding with Nilla wafers!) and even combined with Oreos and gummy worms (remember dirt pudding?).

And, what’s more classic than Butterscotch pudding?  I’m not talking about the stuff that comes in the Jello box.  I’m talking about some serious caramelized brown sugar with good scotch or whiskey.  It’s pudding all grown up.

Butterscotch Pudding

Adapted from David Lebovitz.  Serves 4-6.  PRINT full page.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons whiskey or scotch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream and chocolate chips for serving

1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the dark brown sugar and salt.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved and beginning to caramelize.  Remove from heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.

3. Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.

4. Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently.

5. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.

6.  Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey and vanilla.

7. Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving.

8. Top with whipped cream, chocolate chips or as Joy the Baker suggests, caramelized bananas.  Feel like a kid again.

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Posted in: cooking, dessert, recipe