Sunday, September 21, 2008

butterscotch pudding

after a dicey run-in with some old tomato sauce, make your own pudding is making pudding!

after a hard-hitting nostalgia for the butterscotch pudding at community food and juice brought me back from boston to nyc (uh, that and unemployment), last night the craving returned. at 9 pm in ct. all the grocery stores are closed, folks.

fortunately, butterscotch pudding is so damn easy. the only thing remotely tricky is that i needed some fattier milk (heavy cream), and i found some at the gas station. win! while this recipe can't beat the outrageous pudding at community food & juice, it also doesn't cost EIGHT DOLLARS.

UPDATE: Made a second batch after an extremely painful kitchenless, butterscotchless week in Boston. Don't give me that Penuche crap. No go.

butterscotch pudding
(adapted from david lebovitz)

4 tbs butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp (sea) salt
3 tbs cornstarch
2 1/2 c whole milk (or not-- I did 2/3 2 percent and 1/3 heavy cream. didn't bother to multiply out how much fat that is, but i think it's fattier than whole milk, thereby making this pudding more delicious. but if you actually buy whole milk, why mess?)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Melt the butter. Don't let it burn or even get foamy. Now add the sugar and salt and mix it up nice. Remove from heat. Don't let it get the sugar get all crusty and hard or else you will end up trying to squish the clumps out, not so good if this pudding is for sharing. BUT THE PUDDING TURNED OUT OK! go team.

Mix 1/4 cup milk slowly into the cornstarch (like with a whisk)... you want it to be really silky. Having made lumpy chocolate pudding, let me tell you that nobody wants lumpy pudding. Do this step right.

Marvel as the mixture goes through the ooblek phase. Do some online research about badass superfluids. Watch them go! Look ma, no friction! Uh, where were we?

Then whisk in the eggs. Make sure that these are really well-mixed too. Little egg clumps will cook, and then you will be grossed out by your pudding, which would be a tragedy. Blend now, smile later.

Now put the rest of the milk into the sugar mix, then the eggy milk. Blend like hell! Whisk! Now put it back over heat. Whisk some more! You will be glad you got this "exercise" when you rapidly eat half this pudding.

Eventually it will boil. I was expecting it to take about as long as water, which is dumb because its pudding. So yeah-- don't panic, just whisk. Once it's boiling, lower the heat a little and keep whisking until it's pudding consistency.

Now pour into your cutest ramekins/demitasse cups/wine glasses and chill for an hour or so.

Go watch all the superfluid helium videos on youtube... by the time you're done, the pudding will be, too.

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