Monday, January 4, 2010

Butterscotch Pudding

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, not ultra-pasteurized
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk (or 2 cups half & half)
  • 5 oz. dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 oz. unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 splash vanilla extract

In a heavy bottomed stainless steel sauce pan melt butter over low heat and add brown sugar. With a wooden spoon stir in well to incorporate. Cook for at least 10 minutes, stirring infrequently. Add salt.

Meanwhile combine dairy and warm up, but do not let boil.

Whisk egg and yolks together in mid sized bowl.

Sift cornstarch and sugar into another mid sized bowl. If it looks like you lost some cornstarch in the process, add a little more. Cornstarch absorbs moisture and loves to stick to everything! Whisk to combine these and make a "well" in the center.

When brown sugar/butter has been on the stove for a bit, add dairy and whisk to smooth out. When this mixture is hot to the touch, shut off heat.

OK. Now you are making a liaison. You need to get the eggs and cornstarch into the mixture, but evenly and delicately. The Instruction I am about to give is the best way to make any stove-top pudding, the most popular being pastry cream.

Using a ladle, lift a small amount (betw 2-4 oz) of the hot liquid and pour it directly in the middle of the cornstarch "well." Using a small whisk, whisk this mixture in tight concentric circles from the middle out. You want a smooth, loose paste. If you have not put in enough, or put in too much liquid you will get clumps. When you have your unlumpy mixture, ladle in a little more liquid and do the same again.

Now ladle, while whisking, some liquid into the beaten egg bowl. This step is not nearly as delicate a matter as the previous step. Again, you want to warm up the egg mixture, turning the bowl into warm-hot eggy liquid.

Whisk eggy liquid into cornstarchy liquid. Incorporate as much as possible. Pour this into the pot. Whisk to incorporate. If you notice a lot of any kind of lump, pass this mixture through a fine meshed sieve.

Put pot back on stove over medium heat. Whisk continuously and violently. Try to whisk at all sorts of angles so that the whisk bottom makes it into the "corners" of the pot. If you are not breaking a sweat or getting sore, you may not be whisking hard enough. Pain = Pleasure

Whisk until custard thickens and "comes to boil." I put this in quotes because once custard gets thick, these bubbles are hard to see. When it starts to get thick, stop to see if bubbles are rising to the surface. The sound they'll make is "Gloop."

Take off heat and add in vanilla extract. Taste. Does it taste like butterscotch? Does it need more vanilla extract? Salt? Not sure & don't want to ruin the whole batch finding out? Take a small amount out, put in a bowl and experiment on that.

Spoon into bowls. Chill, and unless you like custard skin, press plastic wrap right to the surface. Of course you can always eat it warm too. MMMmmmmmmmmm.

I like to garnish my butterscotch pudding with toasted pecans. But many things would be complementary. Coconut cream is nice, a la Claudia Fleming. Or praline. Whipped cream, for the added opulence, or straight out of the pot like you know you want to!

from eggbeater

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