It occurred to me to stop yesterday as I was driving to my friend Norma’s house (to deliver 6 of these little babies) to take a photo of a stop sign, or a red light. Something startling to make you, my readers, stop everything and make this recipe. In lieu of that, I hope the photo above will make you salivate. It should, because once you’ve tasted this divine pudding, you may never have any other pudding. Bar none. Ever.
The recipe came from Dorie Greenspan, from her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. And I think the bloggers out there who call themselves TWD (Tuesdays with Dorie, where the entire group makes a single recipe from this very cookbook each week) made this a month or so ago. I read countless blogs about a butterscotch pudding, so I just assume it was Dorie’s recipe. Nothing, though, prepared me for the sublime taste of this pudding. What’s in it? Milk, some cream, butter, brown sugar, some regular sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, cornstarch and . . AND . . . single malt scotch. That’s the best part. And believe it or not, there’s less than a tablespoon of Scotch in the entire recipe, but it permeates everything. Every, single, solitary, bite. Oh, my.
It just so happens that many years ago, my DH and I did learn to enjoy single malt Scotch. We were in Scotland, staying at a lovely inn, and before dinner we visited a pub, where the bartender suggested we both try about 4 or 5 single malts. He poured about a tablespoon into each glass, had us taste each of them, and decide which one we liked best. He didn’t charge us for the tastings, which was very nice! My husband chose one of the more peat-y ones. I chose Dalwhinnie, a smooth honeyed elixir of a single malt. At Heathrow en route home I stopped into the duty-free and bought a bottle of Dalwhinnie. I’ve had it ever since. There is about a cup left in the bottle, and it’s been at least 20 years. But, my readers, there will be less and less because it’s gonna get used up making this pudding. Soon.
Dave and I had two of the little ramekins after dinner last night. Dave said, uhm, can I have another one? No, you can’t, the rest are going to Norma & Mike. Oh darn, he said. But, then, maybe you could make another batch tomorrow? Maybe? It wasn’t that hard, was it, he asked? Well, it’s not exactly like stirring up a boxed pudding mix, that’s for sure, and there were more steps in this version than in many, many puddings. But now that I’ve done it once, it wouldn’t be so hard to repeat it. And, I DO have the Dalwhinnie.
Real Butterscotch Pudding
Recipe: Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
1/2 cup brown sugar — lightly packed
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter — cut into 4 pieces, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract — use the real thing
2 tablespoons single malt scotch whiskey
2/3 cup heavy cream — whip up for topping on each ramekin
1. Getting ready: have six 4-6 ounce ramekins ready (to hold about 1/2 to 3/4 cup each).
2. Put the brown sugar and water in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, put the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stirring and lowering the heat if necessary, boil for 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup cream and bring to a boil – don’t worry if, as it’s heating, the mixture curdles.
3. While the milk is heating, put the cornstarch and salt into a food processor and whir to blend. Turn them out onto a piece of waxed paper, put the sugar and egg yolks into the processor and blend for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup milk and pulse just to mix, then add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to blend.
4. With the machine running, very slowly, pour in the hot liquid. Process for a few seconds, then pour everything back into the saucepan. Whisk without stopping over medium heat – making sure to get into the edges of the pan – until the pudding thickens and a couple of bubbles burble up to the surface and pop (about 2 minutes). You don’t want the pudding to boil, but you do want it to thicken, so lower the heat, if necessary.
5. Scrape the pudding back into the food processor (if there’s a scorched spot, avoid it as you scrape) and pulse a couple of times. Add the butter, vanilla and Scotch and pulse until everything is evenly blended.
6. Pour the pudding into the ramekins. If you don’t want a skin to form, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding to create an airtight seal. Refrigerate the puddings for at least 4 hours.
Per Serving: 389 Calories; 28g Fat (65.6% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 195mg Cholesterol; 151mg Sodium.