Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Butterscotch Pudding

      My dad came in town last week, and I was whisked into a frenzy of Denver Tourist, a fun musical, long walks and wonderful company. Of course, we also ate our way through a splendor of delicious foods with no holding back (the amount of ice cream and decadent breakfasts consumed are something to be admired). However, the last night was a truly wonderful experience at a swanky downtown Denver restaurant my friends had recommended.
     It ended in a delicious dessert selection and paired wines, and I felt I was in a magical place surrounded by happiness (...ok, maybe I am being a tad dramatic). The point is, it was a phenomenal night I will remember for a long time. Dad ordered a butterscotch pudding dessert, and I, being a devout lover of all thing butterscotch, caramel, dulce de leche, sweet darkened milky goodness, of course insisted on a bite...ok maybe two.
    Then I wanted more, so I figured it was time for pudding. Butterscotch traditionally consists of brown sugar and butter. These form the base of this pudding and then creamy whole milk, bourbon, and vanilla get to play, because why not?
     The result is a creamy, mildly sweet and refreshingly cool dessert that plays gently in your mouth. The brown sugar and bourbon go beautifully together and the vanilla just enhances their game. I dusted the cups with cocoa powder and a few dark chocolate pieces for a bittersweet compliment. I'm sorry (but not really sorry) for introducing you to homemade pudding, but believe me after seeing how easy and scrumptious this is, there will be no more instant mixes in your cabinet.

Adapted from David Lebovoitz's Butterscotch Pudding

4 TBSP (1/2 stick) salted butter
1 C packed brown sugar (dark for a strong flavor and light for a milder)
3/4 TSP fine salt
3 TBSP corn starch
2 1/2 C whole milk
2 large eggs
1 TBSP  bourbon
1 TSP vanilla

1. Add the butter and the brown sugar to a sauce pan over low-medium heat and melt together until combined and all of the brown sugar is wet.
2. Whisk together 1/2 C of milk and the cornstarch until no clumps are visible and all of the starch has dissolved into the milk. Whisk in the eggs.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the other 2 cups of milk to the brown sugar/butter mixture. Next, whisk the cornstarch/milk mixture in as well.
4. Return the pot the heat and bring to a boil, while wishing constantly. Since you are whisking it will be hard to see the "boil" so when you see little bubbles all around the side of the pot, go ahead and turn it down to medium-low heat and continue whisking until it has reached a thickened consistency (looking like hot fudge).
5. Remove from the heat, whisk in the bourbon and vanilla and pour into a large serving dish or divide into small dishes. Cover them with plastic wrap, pressing it against the actual pudding, to prevent film from forming on the top. Place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to cool before serving. Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, chocolate shavings or whatever floats your boat.
   Boulder Butter

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