Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

Butterscotch pudding recipe

Butterscotch Pudding
Print Recipe
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (see Note at end of recipe)
2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted), melted
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons dark rum or whisky
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, make the butterscotch base by mixing the brown sugar with the melted butter. Set aside.
2. Put the yolks in a small bowl and stir briefly.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with a small amount of the cold milk until smooth. Pour the rest of the milk into a heavy saucepan and scrape in the slurry of cornstarch and the salt.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to boil. Whisk a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and then scrape the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Keep cooking and stirring the custard until it comes to a boil again. It will become quite thick and mound up like mayonnaise. Remove it from the heat and pour it into the butterscotch base. Add the rum and vanilla and whisk until the butterscotch has dissolved into the custard. Pour into large serving bowl or individual glasses and refrigerate overnight. Serve topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Note: If you want a lighter butterscotch flavor, feel free to use light brown sugar in place of the dark brown for a milder flavor.

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  • July 13, 2005 11:19am

    Oh that was fun to read! I do alot of flinging when I’m chopping! And I’m with you, a long recipe scares me away entirely. Though I will admit that I did once cook the Zuni roasted chicken with bread salad which is about 3 or 4 pages long. I’m not sure what possessed me. It was fantastic, but it was ALOT of reading. I’m sure I pulled some of my hair out in the process.

  • July 13, 2005 1:47pm

    Editors remove water as an ingredient? I did not know that! I’ve so much to add to that.

    I’m not an editor and never will be, but wouldn’t it be prudent for those making such cuts to actually make the recipe after said cuts to see if they make sense? Or at least do diligent reading to see if the recipe makes sense.

    From here on out I’ll cast a wider eye on who’s responsible for these kind of things.

  • July 13, 2005 1:50pm

    That was very fun to read.

    Now. Tell me, please, why butterscotch has no scotch in it? Has it EVER had scotch? I’m so confused.

    And people wonder why I don’t bake.

  • Norman Hanson
    July 13, 2005 4:03pm

    Indeed, fun to read. Joy of Cooking sort of does that thing with “spread the almonds out,” doesn’t it? I always thought that cookbooks ought to be “graded,” so that if you’re a baby cook, you know that if the book has a “medium difficulty” rating, it may be too hard for you. I also find it interesting, that when I read cookbooks originating in Europe, with facing translation, the details are always longer in the English translation. “Cook till done,” in Italian became “bake for 45 minutes ” in the translation.

  • Jim
    July 13, 2005 4:53pm

    Lisa’s pudding fiasco sounds like the work of yet another recipe that tries to take a classic and rework it “healthy” style. 4 T of brown sugar? What’s up with that? If you don’t want sugar, don’t eat pudding ;) And what’s with the adding hot milk to cornstarch? Sounds like a good way to make a nice thin, chunky pudding!

    Your recipe sounds incredible! I must try it soon…bring on the sugar and fat!!

    BTW – I’m a new reader and really enjoy your blog. Thanks!

  • July 13, 2005 10:48pm

    this is quite funny.

    recently a newly launched food magazine hired me to proofread and correct recipes sent to them by 5 majorly famous pastry chefs from across the USA. it was so obvious who had ever written a recipe for anyone but themselves!

    I have people who do not cook and bake professionally read my written recipes, this helps.

    also I appreciate a cookbook whose forward has sentences like, “When we say salt we mean Kosher salt.”

    but I do have one quiff. the flavour of butterscotch, in my not so humble opinion, is thrown off by alcohol. I am a purist when it comes to said sweet. what I really hate is that 2 famous SF restaurants use artificially flavoured butterscotch chips to make their puddings!!

  • July 14, 2005 4:07am

    The problem is most people don’t read the forward (where it says to use Kosher salt or unsalted butter), they just open a book and follow the recipe. And yes, I know at least 1 famous restaurant in the SF Bay Area, run by a celeb chef, that serves Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding mix enriched with butterscotch chips.

    Editors change lots of things in recipes; ingredients, titles, instructions, photos, etc…it’s their job. Magazine recipes are especially edited to conform to a certain style (for example, all recipes in Cooking Light give instructions like, “Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl…” while other magazines, where the readership may be more experienced cooks, will give more precise directions. In a magazine, another line, such as “2 cups of water” in the ingredient list can throw the page off so often it’s easier just to say in the instructions, “add 2 cups of water” rather than taking the space in the ingredient list.

    For cookbooks, copy-editors go over things with a fine-toothed comb, making sure recipes make sense, things are in order, and carefully explained (Yes, I did have a copy editor insist that when I said “Chill”, the I said, “Chill in the refrigerator”, which I thought was obvious, but she didn’t.

    Many chefs (if not all) who ‘write’ cookbooks, don’t write them, but are hooked-up with professional writers by their agents or editors. Often the writers get their names on the cover, sometimes not. It depends on how much writing and recipe development and testing they do or if the writer is famous as well. To be fair, most chefs have no idea (or the time) to test and write recipes for home cooks.

    Luckily I’ve had good editors who were really into producing quality cookbooks, but you do learn to choose (and tussle) for what’s important. Still, editors have to keep finances in mind as well. Publishers are not non-profits…just blogs!

    I know someone who had a million-dollar contract that changed the name of her book. Other authors wrestle with editors over things like fonts, recipe order, titles, subtitles, photos, etc….you can argue with your editor about lots of things, all authors do, but if you have a good one, they want to produce a good cookbook too since it reflects on them professionally as well.

  • July 14, 2005 6:26pm

    Okay this was the funniest thing I’ve read in a while–and now all the moles in the surrounding cubicles want to know what was so funny. “Holy mother of Betty Crocker!”

  • Tiong
    July 17, 2005 10:02pm

    As someone who lives outside the USA, I am very baffled why American dessert books do not use weight measurment. Afterall, pastry work is about percision and reliability. A 1 1/2 cup of honey is definitely more messy and subjective than the acutal weight of honey in the intended mixing bowl itself.
    (do i make sense?)

  • July 18, 2005 2:54am

    Most pastry chefs and recipe writers (and I) would LOVE to go to weight measurements in the US. As you pointed out, it’s far more accurate and far less-messy. But for some reason, the American public won’t weight things. There may be something viscerally satisfying about using grandma’s measuring cup, but other than that, I don’t know. About 20 years ago, America was all set to go metric, then stopped.

    What happened?


  • jennifer cox
    July 18, 2005 7:11pm

    I had no idea you moved to France in such a permanant way. I too left SF to head East. Wanted to thank you for the butterscotch pudding recipe which I love and can’t wait to make! Not working in a restaurant right now and loving cooking at home.
    Just wanted to say Hi!

  • July 26, 2005 3:17am

    But, you know, if people do want pictures, I kinda took some. Just in case. :)

  • September 2, 2005 2:15am

    Very nice blog.

  • Enyinnah Johnson
    October 11, 2005 12:40pm


    My name is Enyinnah Johnson. I’m a junior at Mundy’s Mills High School in Jonesboro, Georgia. I’m currently doing a reaseach project on a career that I would eventually like to persue. I have always wanted to be a pastry chef. Part of our requirments in this project is to do reaseach on someone that is currently in that field of expertise. I would greatly appreicate it if you would tell me about your career, how you got to where you are now, and whatever else you feel would be impertative towards my project. Considering we don’t have a long period of time on this particular project, please reply back as soon as you can. Thank you so much! Have a nice day.

    Enyinnah Johnson~