Salted Butterscotch Pudding
The last minute, sleeper hit recipe of the holidays.
Consider this your last minute Thanksgiving dessert option (if you are celebrating this week), or an easy, early Christmas treat. This recipe is fast (under 20 minutes + chill time), easy, and is luxurious enough for a dinner party as it is the end to a major holiday.
If you need a quick dessert and/or appreciate the finer things in life that are silky and caramel-covered, then this Salted Butterscotch Pudding is exactly what you need.
We know all about fall’s A-team recipes already. We’ve got the newest show-stopping pumpkin cake of the season, apple pie in a hand-held version, and even a non-traditional tart. A good pudding, however, is the hit recipe you never saw coming.
There are plenty of exceptional pie and cake recipes here and elsewhere, but I really wanted to create a shareable, spoonable option this holiday season. Something simple and cozy yet indulgent. A dish slightly nostalgic but feels new again. A big bowl of silky, creamy goodness you can’t wait to dive into.
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Brown Sugar Butterscotch Pudding
2 cups (470ml) milk
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
1 cup (200g) + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
5 egg yolks
¼ cup (35g) cornstarch
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon scotch or whiskey (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, diced
Combine the milk, cream, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan. Stir to combine. Heat the saucepan over medium-low heat until the liquid begins to bubble around the edges and steam.
Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar and egg yolks in a medium, heat-safe mixing bowl. Add the cornstarch and salt then whisk until smooth.
When the milk mixture is warm and starting to simmer, slowly temper it into the egg yolk mixture. To do so, carefully pour or ladle a small amount of the warm milk into the eggs while whisking with the opposite hand. Continue to pour and whisk in the remaining warm milk.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook the pudding while whisking slowly but constantly. The pudding will soon start to thicken. When slow, big bubbles burst at the surface, quickly whisk for 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
If the pudding begins to curdle or clump, lower the heat.
Stir in the scotch (if using) and vanilla extra. Add the butter and stir together until it melts and emulsifies into the pudding.
Pour the pudding into a heat-safe bowl or divide into individual serving dishes. The pudding will make 6 to 8 portions.
Cover and chill the pudding in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, spoon a layer of just warmed caramel over the top, swirl on a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt, to taste
Place the sugar in a medium skillet or saucepan then set over medium-high heat. Cook the sugar until it melts, stirring gently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to get it started and cook evenly. Once melted, do not stir.
Continue to cook the melted sugar until it turns a warm golden or amber color.
Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the butter. Be careful of splatters. Next, whisk in the heavy cream. It may boil up and foam, so be careful.
Return the skillet to medium heat and cook until thick, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Carefully pour the caramel sauce into a heat-safe container. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
Tangy Whipped Cream
¾ cup (180ml) heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoon granulated sugar, to taste
¼ cup (60ml) plain Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip the cream with the sugar using electric beaters, or by hand, until the cream thickens and holds soft peaks.
Add the yogurt and vanilla extract. Continue whisking until combined and thickened to medium peaks.
Serving and Storage:
When ready to serve, warm the caramel until pourable but not hot. Spoon the warmed caramel over the top of each serving.
Dollop the whipped cream on top of the caramel with a spoon or pipe with a star tip and piping bag. Sprinkle it with flaky salt before serving.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you accidentally over-whip your cream (it turns grainy), add a tablespoon or two of cream then whisk until smooth.
To prevent over whipping, stop the electric mixer just as the cream begins to thicken then continue to whisk by hand. We are looking for soft clouds of whipped cream, not stiff peaks.
Download a printable pdf version of the recipe below!
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