We’d like to go on and on about how awesome this recipe is, but we’ll just let you make it and watch you swoon. It takes just under 10 minutes and a few ingredients you’ve already got in your kitchen to make pudding from scratch, leaving you questioning why you ever bought the instant stuff. Grown ups or teething infants, feel free to add a splash of bourbon to this silky wonder of a dessert to get the party started.
- 2 Tbsps Sugar
- 3 cups Milk
- 2 Tbsps Muscovado or dark brown sugar
- 1 cup Granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Corn starch (rice or potato starch work as well)
- 1–1/2 tsps Kosher sea salt
- 4 Egg yolks
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract or liqueur of your choice (we also like to add a touch of vanilla bean seeds)
- Place the 2 Tbsps sugar in a pot. Bring to an amber color and deglaze with milk. Add the muscovado sugar and stir until the milk simmers. Turn the heat off and add the remaining sugar, starch, salt and eggs, whisking the entire time.
- Turn the heat to medium and whisk continuously until it boils (a little over five minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract until smooth.
- Pour into individual serving cups, bowls, mugs or one big bowl. Eat warm or cool in the fridge to set for a thicker texture.
- Chocolate Pudding variation: Whisk in 5 ounces dark chocolate with the vanilla extract. Proceed as directed.
Shall we discuss butterscotch for a quick moment? Let’s explore sugar first. Granulated sugar as we purchase it (super white and rather fine) is processed from the sugar cane. This thick, fibrous stalk, reminiscent of bamboo, is milled between two rollers to extract its clear, sweet juices. This juice is then cooked down until dark and syrupy (molasses)!, leaving behind golden sugar crystals. The molasses are bottled while the crystals go through a series of washes grinds to get from golden, grainy turbinado-like consistency all the way down to the white crystals we’re buying in 5 lb. bags.
Where does butterscotch fit into this picture? For starters, butterscotch and its flavor are not derived from a bag of tan looking chips from the supermarket. If you inhaled an open bottle of molasses and smelled its sweet, pungent, bitter-but-tangy sweetness, you were experiencing a true, intense butterscotch aroma bath. Brown sugar, which is made by adding molasses back into sugar crystals, has some butterscotch notes (the darker the brown sugar, the more pronounced they are), but the best and most effective way of introducing the flavor is with Muscovado sugar. This deep brown product is packaged up before the molasses are full extracted and can be purchased at Whole Foods and online from India Tree, though dark brown sugar, especially the Organic brands, will work just fine as a substitute. If you’re using great-quality fats, like grass-fed heavy cream and butter, your custards will have a fuller, richer flavor as well.