Kaytie wanted something special for dessert on Sunday. Not just anything special for dessert -- something in particular. Puddin'.
We found a recipe on seriouseats.com, and I followed it as closely as possible, though I may have cooked the sugar a touch longer than recommended. This resulted in a nice, thick butterscotch pudding with a hint of caramel flavor. I also just realized that I used half the amount of milk. (I doubled the rest of the recipe.) No wonder it was so thick and rich!
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs cold water
3 large egg yolks
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs molasses
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp dark rum
6 Tbs cold butter, cut into large chunks
Things happen quickly here, so read the whole recipe and prepare your mise-en-place.
Put a mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl next to the stove. Set it aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and yolks until smooth. Whisk in the molasses and salt. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk until the mixture is smooth. Set the bowl aside.
Heat the rest of the milk in the microwave for about two and a half minutes. Get it hot but not boiling, and set it aside.
Dump the sugar in a sauce pan and spread it evenly over the bottom. Sprinkle the water over the sugar so that all of the sugar is moistened. Heat over medium high heat. After a while, the sugar will begin to brown. Once that happens, stir the mixture gently with a wooden spoon until it turns an even, red-amber color.
Slowly pour in about half of the warm milk. (Be careful -- the mixture will bubble like crazy and splatter a little.) Stir vigorously until the sugar is all dissolved. Add the remaining milk, stir, and remove from heat.
Slowly whisk about half of the sugar mixture into the yolk mixture. Pour the sugar-yolk mixture back into the pot with the rest of the sugar mixture, and stir.
Over medium heat, cook the mixture for about 6 minutes while stirring constantly. The foam will calm down, and the mixture will thicken.
Take the pan off the heat, stir in the vanilla and liquor. Immediately pour the puddin' through the strainer. Let the puddin' sit for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally while it cools.
Put the puddin' in a food processor or blender. Turn on the machine, and add the butter chunks, one at a time. Blend until everything is incorporated.
Pour into ramekins and leave in the fridge until completely cool.
We served these topped with Cool Whip in a can. (Don't knock Cool Whip. I love it.)