Kick Butt-erscotch Pudding

By • February 24, 2011 • 32 Comments

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Author Notes: I have to admit, butterscotch is not my favorite pudding flavor, but I am absolutely not letting this contest close without a single plain old, old-fashioned butterscotch recipe! Butterscotch, as far as I can tell, relies on the wonder that is the flavor of dark brown sugar. This recipe, tweaked from an old recipe card from a neighbor with inspiration from David Lebovitz, is incredibly simple and fast - it doesn't even require tempering egg yolks. And while usually I feel strongly that pudding should have egg, the butterscotch flavor is rich enough, it doesn't really need it. - fiveandspicefiveandspice

Food52 Review: WHO: fiveandspice is a fierce home cook, hostess, and food blogger.
WHAT: A butterscotch pudding that lives up to its name.
HOW: Butter, sugar, salt, cream, cornstarch, milk, vanilla. On the stove. That's it -- no egg-tempering necessary.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is definitely an adult butterscotch pudding -- toasty dark brown sugar, sea salt, and (optional) booze balance out the traditional sweetness. Note: If you want to have leftovers, make sure to divide up the pudding into 4-6 small bowls or ramekins. Placing one big bowl of this stuff in the fridge is simply too tempting.
Food52

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey or dark rum (optional)
  1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the sugar and salt and stir to combine well. Whisk in the heavy cream and turn the heat to low.
  2. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl, whisk in the milk bit by bit, until the cornstarch is totally dissolved. Stir this into the saucepan, then turn the heat back up to medium and let the mixture come to a simmer, stirring all the while. Simmer (keep stirring) for about a minute, until the pudding has thickened enough that your stirring utensil leaves a thick trail. Remove from the heat and stir in the last Tbs. butter, the vanilla, and the whiskey/rum.
  3. If the pudding seems lumpy, press it through a fine strainer. Pour it into a bowl, press plastic wrap directly onto the pudding if you wish to avoid a skin forming. Chill for at least several hours before serving. Serve topped with lightly sweetened softly whipped cream.
Jump to Comments (32)

Tags: brown sugar, butterscotch, Easy, fast, kid-friendly, sweet

Comments (32) Questions (0)

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8 months ago sullymorgan

This is the best, most flavorful butterscotch pudding recipe I've tried (and I've tried a lot!). I browned the butter but otherwise followed it to a T. I was wary because I usually don't like cornstarch-thickened puddings--they can be a bit grainy. But this was smooth, creamy...perfect. They kids loved it (of course), and I served it to friends too with a bit of whipped creme fraiche on top--nice tangy contrast. A new family favorite!

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about 1 year ago Olivier Houde

Wow! Made this with brown butter instead of regular melted butter, it was simply amazing! Thanks, will do it again!

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

LOVE the brown butter idea!

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almost 2 years ago goobiedustbakes

This recipe saved my butt last night. This was our first Valentine's Day as parents to our wonderful 7-month-old daughter and I had nothing planned. We were foolish enough to think we could actually cook dinner together, take her through her normal routine and eat together by a reasonable hour. After having our cocktails standing up, sharing a quick bite of dinner on the bed (while baby rolled around on said bed) just to get a taste of something before baby's bath, this dessert was the only thing we sat down and ate together like civilized humans. Savoring this pudding together was just the sliver of peace and luxury we needed to give us pause in a hectic daily schedule. I wanted to try it with dark muscavado, but i guess everyone had that idea last night, so i settled for organic dark brown sugar by wholesome sweetners, which along with local organic dairy made for a beautiful pudding. I topped it with a bit of fleur de sel, chocolate sauce and freshly whipped cream. As my husband said a few bites in 'it's just sexy.'

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh I'm so glad I could help your Valentine's Day in some tiny way! :) Glad you guys enjoyed the pudding. My husband and I will probably be in that very sort of situation next year...

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almost 2 years ago mommychef

really???? that's exciting! enjoy sit down dinners while you can!

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

As long as everything stays on a healthy trajectory!! :) So, yes, we'll try to be extremely leisurely about our dinners and savor the quiet.

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about 2 years ago ginampen

I am a huge lover of all this butterscotch. I made this the other night and the flavor was amazing! I want to make this recipe again however because the consistency of my pudding was slightly flour like. It wasn't lumpy so I didn't feel the need to run it through a strainer, but was wondering if anyone has any tips for me I would love to give it another go!

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hi ginampen! I'm not sure why your pudding would have had a flour like texture. I've never had that happen to me, more often I don't let my puddings set quite enough (I'm a little impatient), so I hope someone else has some helpful thoughts. I my one thought is maybe the pudding got overcooked, so maybe stop the cooking sooner, or cook it even more slowly over slightly lower heat?

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about 2 years ago gingerroot

Congrats on the wildcard, Em!

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Jenny!

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about 2 years ago Buttanio

I just cooked this surprisingly simple recipe. Watching the ribbons of pudding dance elegantly out of the pan reminded me of melted caramel and Halloween. I couldn't wait to taste it and scraped the last bits out of the pan with my spoon. It was certainly worth the effort of finding dark brown sugar here in India. Thanks, fiveandspice, for a great post-fried-chicken desert!

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Wow! I'm psyched that you put in the effort (funny how ubiquitous brown sugar is in the states and how hard it is to find in many other places), and that you enjoyed the results!

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about 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congratulations - it looks and sounds wonderful

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks so much KB!

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks wonderful! Congrats 5&S!! Yay for butterscotch!

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Susan! Yay indeed!

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about 2 years ago dymnyno

Congratulations on the Wildcard Win!!!! Sounds delicious! I love butterscotch.

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you dymnyno! It's a pretty classic flavor, isn't it!?

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about 2 years ago Dabblings

Good grief this looks like something I need to make ASAP. Congratulations!

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Dabblings! I hope you enjoy it if you try it!

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about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

congrats 5&s! This sounds sooo good. I feel like making it right now.

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Go for it MrsL! Isn't Wednesday night technically pudding night? Pretty sure I read that somewhere...

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about 2 years ago Midge

Way to go fiveandspice! Love this recipe.

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks so much Midge! Though I still think your burnt caramel is the creamiest cream of the crop :).

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about 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Funny, I was just thinking about butterscotch! Congratulations, fiveandspice!

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh WOW! Thank you so much! What a fun surprise! I hope you give it a try - thoughts of butterscotch are definitely thoughts that should be heeded.

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

Oh my! I waited until I got home from work to post my aunt's butterscotch pudding recipe and didn't see you had already posted one! Didn't mean to step on your toes, fiveandspice!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh goodness! No toe stepping at all! I can't wait to see your aunt's recipe! :)

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

Whew!

Ashtaco

over 3 years ago wanderash

Halleluja! Thanks fiveandspice!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Haha, you're welcome! I thought of your earlier comment when I posted this!