I’m not sure why, but I’ve withheld pudding from Little Guy. When I was working the reason was clear. I refused to buy the sugar-laden, artificially flavored and colored pudding packs at the store. Making my own was out of the question because I hadn’t made pudding from scratch before and thought it was as difficult as calculating pi to the 78th digit.
Little Guy goes to his grandparents and eagerly laps up his Ama’s chocolate pudding on a regular basis. So, finally I caved and decided to make him pudding. Knowing I could never compete with Ama’s chocolate version, I decided to make good old-fashioned butterscotch pudding.
Let me just tell you–I was wrong. I’ve seen the error of my ways. I was right about only one thing in matters of pudding making; thanks to Google it’s about as difficult as finding the 78th digit of pi (it’s 8).
Making your own pudding from scratch is far easier than making chocolate chip cookies, so why aren’t we all making our own pudding? Why are we buying the overly sweet, artificially flavored and colored stuff at the grocery store? When you make your own, you get to control how much sugar, what flavorings and what milk goes into the pudding, and as a bonus, when you make your own, you can treat yourself to real butterscotch.
This pudding just tastes right. It’s full of brown-sugar flavor, with a burnt-sugar edge. I have to say I’m surprised that not everyone’s eating butterscotch. There’s something retro about it, even though I can’t figure out why. Burnt sugar, caramel and brown sugar are all hot flavors right now, so why not a caramel sauce made with brown sugar, aka butterscotch?
I used low-fat milk to make this pudding. I know that whole milk is preferred, but wanted something light enough for me to be able to enjoy too. I keep the sugar on the low end too. The only sugar in this recipe is the 1/2 cup of brown sugar used to make the butterscotch. I don’t know the nutritional value of this pudding, but I’m pretty sure that it’s lower in sugar and fat than most of the store-bought snack-sized packages of pudding.
I have plans for this recipe too. I’m making it again this weekend and throwing it in my ice cream maker for a little frozen pudding, and in my mind is marinating a recipe for a good pie that uses this as a filling. We ate the pudding with a small dollop of whipped cream and a little grated bittersweet chocolate, but you could add a million things to this recipe: cookie crumbs in the bottom of the cups, hot fudge sauce, graham cracker crumbs, or toasted slivered almonds to name a few. Make it; its good. Enjoy!
Little Guy weighs in with his opinion of Butterscotch Pudding
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons corn starch
3 cups milk (low-fat or whole), divided
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix the cornstarch and vanilla into 1/2 cup of the milk until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Combine the brown sugar and butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce-pan over medium heat.
Stir constantly until the brown sugar has melted into the butter and starts to bubble.
If you want a toasted, slightly burnt sugar flavor, cook for 4-5 minutes until you start to smell browning sugar; immediately remove from the heat and stir in the cream. For a milder flavor, remove from the heat and add the cream when the butter and brown sugar are melted and bubbling.
Add 2-1/2 cups of the milk and return to medium heat. Stir until the butterscotch has dissolved into the milk.
Stir the cornstarch/milk mixture one more time to remix the cornstarch into the milk and then pour the cornstarch/milk mixture into the butterscotch/milk mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir the pudding constantly until it starts to bubble, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to get the thicker pudding mixed into the rest of the pudding. When small bubbles start to come to the surface remove from the heat.
Pour the pudding into six small containers. Lightly press plastic wrap or cut circles of waxed paper onto the top of the pudding. This prevents a skin from forming on the top of the pudding.
Refrigerate for at least two hours, or until the pudding is cold and set. Serve plain or with whipped cream and grated bittersweet chocolate.
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