Let me just say that I was not one of those children that grew up on pudding. We didn’t have pudding for dessert every night. I didn’t have a pudding cup packed in my lunch. Heck, I didn’t even pack a lunch. I went to a school that was grades K4-8 all in one building and about 90% of us walked home for lunch. In the snow and rain, not uphill.
I digress. The boys eat lunch at school and see lots of foods I won’t let them have. Pudding cups are one of them. I’ve made several different puddings for them and it’s been popular. They don’t get it often at all, so when they do it is a real treat.
They’ve mostly had different chocolate puddings. It was time to make the classic butterscotch. There is something about butterscotch. It’s a classic flavor that can’t be beat, even my chocolaholic Sean would like it!
The best part, homemade pudding is really easy to make. Just melt some butter and brown sugar, add milk. Make a slurry with cornstarch, milk and egg yolks. Temper the slurry and finish cooking. Don’t let words like slurry or temper scare you, it really is easy.
If I weren’t making it for the kids I would probably add a couple tablespoons bourbon at the end! Y’all know I like to slip in liquor when I cook and bake. If I were serving it for adults I would also take the time to push the finished pudding through a fine sieve. Let’s face it though, time is limited and my boys aren’t going to notice a small lump or two when they are inhaling their pudding! Don’t feel guilty for skipping this step, you are still making a fantastic treat.
2 c. milk, divided (See note)
2 egg yolks
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. butter
2/3 c. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
In a small bowl whisk together a slurry of one cup milk, the egg yolks, cornstarch and salt. Set it aside for later.
In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and whisk until well combined, you don’t want the butter and sugar separating. Remove from heat and add one cup milk. Return to low heat and whisk until the sugar is melted, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add about 1/4 cup to the slurry to temper the eggs. Slowly whisk the slurry into the hot milk mixture. Whisking constantly over medium high heat look for popping bubbles to begin. Once the pudding bubbles cook for 1-2 minutes, until it is well thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Push the pudding through a fine sieve for smoothest results. Pour into either one large bowl or 4 individual serving dishes. To prevent a skin from forming on the pudding place plastic wrap directly on the pudding. Another alternative is to sprinkle a very thin layer of sugar directly over the pudding and then cover. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and/or grated chocolate.
Note: Whole milk is best for pudding. If you only have nonfat or 2% add some half and half or whipping cream if you have some. Basically the more fat you have in your milk the creamier and more decadent the pudding!
Yields: 4 servings