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Perfect Butterscotch Pudding (And Pudding Pops Too!)

When I’m looking for comfort food, I turn to pudding. But not just any pudding. I want butterscotch pudding. One of my favorite childhood treats was Bird’s Eye Butterscotch “Flavor” Pudding. Seriously, I loved this artificially-flavored, laden-with-chemicals “pudding”.

So when I began seriously baking as an adult, recreating that pudding was high on my list. Ironically, using “real” pudding ingredients you know, eggs, milk, cream did not (at first) yield those perfect results I was aiming for.

Bits of yolk. Lumps. And worst of all? Skin.

But I persevered. I researched. I tweaked. And after many trials and errors I had that “aha” moment. That moment that transported me back several decades to my childhood kitchen.

The texture, the flavor even the color were spot on.

Today is National Butterscotch Pudding Day the perfect time to take these step-by-step instructions and make your own perfect butterscotch pudding. With no “quotation marks”.

And definitely no skin.

  • Perfect Butterscotch Pudding! 1 of 11
    perfect butterscotch pudding and pudding pops

    Perfect butterscotch pudding - no lumps, no skin - is easy, once you know the secrets!

  • Properly Prepare Your Yolks 2 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, whisk yolks

    One of the keys to perfectly smooth pudding is prepping  the egg yolks. Make sure they are at room temperature - not at all cold - and whisk them lightly before you begin.

  • Melt Your Butter 3 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, melt butter

    Melt the butter over a medium-low heat - don't let it brown.

  • Make the Butterscotch! 4 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, add the brown sugar

    Make the butterscotch mixture by adding brown sugar to the melted butter, and cooking till it starts to bubble. Watch carefully to avoid burning.

  • Add Milk and Remaining Ingredients 5 of 11
    butterscotch pudding whisk milk into egg yolks

    Add the milk, cornstarch and salt - slowly, and continuously mixing. This will help you avoid those tiny clumps of yolk - called "yolk burn".

  • Almost Ready To Cook! 6 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, whisk in butterscotch

    Still whisking, add the butterscotch mixture. You're now ready to cook!

  • The Finished Pudding 7 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, finished cooking

    After heating - and more whisking! - the pudding is complete, and ready to chill. You'll notice that it is already starting to thicken at this point. 

  • Transfer To Ramekins 8 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, pour into ramekins

    Transfer the pudding to your ramekins. You can spoon it in using a soup ladle, or transfer to a a large liquid measuring cup for easy pouring.

    ("Team Skins"? Then put the ramekins, uncovered, into the fridge to chill.)

  • No Skins Allowed! 9 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, covered with plastic to prevent skins

    If you're not channeling your inner George Costanza, avoid skins by placing plastic wrap over the ramekins - making sure that the wrap touches the surface of the pudding. Place in the fridge to chill. 

  • Garnish and Serve! 10 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, garnished with whipped cream

    Garnish your puddings with lightly whipped cream and a little cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg.

  • Pudding Pops! 11 of 11
    butterscotch pudding, pudding pops

    For a divine sweet-salty, creamy frozen treat, pour pudding into popsicle molds and freeze!

Read more from Sheri on Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
Follow Donuts, Dresses and Dirt on Facebook and Twitter for updates

Butterscotch Pudding (and Pudding Pops Too!)
adapted from Gourmet

2 c. heavy cream (divided)
6 T. unsalted butter
1 ½ c. dark brown sugar
2 ¼ c. whole milk
4 egg yolks, room temperature
¼ c. cornstarch
¾ t. kosher salt

Place egg yolks in a large metal bowl; whisk lightly and set aside. Place 1 ¼ c. cream in a small saucepan. Place butter in a medium saucepan.

Heat cream over medium-low heat till warm. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and cook stirring occasionally till mixture is covered with bubbles, about 5 minutes. Slowly add warmed cream, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Clean out the saucepan you used for the cream fill halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, add milk to the yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk in the cornstarch and salt and continue whisking till blended. Slowly add the butterscotch mixture, whisking constantly.

Set the bowl over the simmering water. Cook for 10 minutes, whisking frequently. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and cook for another 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Take the bowl off the heat; cool for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Pour the pudding into six 8-ounce ramekins. Immediately cover with plastic wrap, making sure that the wrap touches the surface of the pudding. Chill for several hours, till cold.

Beat remaining ¾ c. heavy cream till soft peaks form. Serve puddings with whipped cream and a little cinnamon or grated nutmeg.

If making pudding pops, pour pudding into popsicle molds, add sticks and freeze.

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