Thanks to my mother, my childhood was covered in butterscotch. The bright yellow, smooth as glass, hard candy wrapped in thin plastic candy wrap (the wraps make a great whistle too, btw), or the ultimate original "Werther's Original". The boxes and boxes of COOKED (we didn't get instant until high school) Jell-O brand Butterscotch pudding… either in one batch bowls stored in the refrigerator, or poured into graham cracker pie crust shells for… tahhh-dahhh… BUTTERSCOTCH PIE! Scattered in between was butterscotch chips for cookies and ready made pudding cups in plastic lunch box ready containers loaded with the artificial butterscotch flavoring. Butterscotch is my childhood, and it was delicious.
Now, get ready for the DID YOU KNOWS: Did you know there is no actual “Scotch” in butterscotch? Yeah, the scotch in butter scotch doesn’t refer to highland, char aged oak barreled , smokey peat, country club, sippping Scotch. Seriously! Am I only one that thought the “scotch” was drinking Scotch? I also thought only people from Pennsylvania (like my mother) ate Butterscotch, so….
Butterscotch has different genesis origins. So, the only thing everyone agrees on is that Butterscotch is a hard candy… a buttery caramel or toffee flavored candy actually made of boiled down sugar and butter; Possibly originating in Scotland thus scotch. Another theory is because molten sugar and butter is obviously hard to cut, so it must be scored first to get a nice clean cut…and thus “scotched” or getting a nice clean cut. The last theory is one I kind of buy, if not that it is suppose to have scotch mixed into it, is that scotched comes from the term scorched.. as in scorched butter that makes up butterscotch. Got it? Good.
Now in the American lexicon of instant food, and instant flavoring, Butterscotch has morphed from a hard butter candy to a confectionery flavoring. Like Caramel…or Vanilla… or Paprika. I’m kidding about the Paprika.
Today was cold and windy in Oklahoma City. Kind of like Scotland… possibly more like Pennsylvania, because that's where Butterscotch comes from (again, kidding)… so Butterscotch day. Warm butterscotch pudding (and mine is more of a buttery-caramel than what we know as artificial “butterscotch”) makes me happy, and the only pudding that I enjoy warm from the bowl.
I hope you enjoy!
Let’s Make A Caramel Custard First:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (I always use a little lemon when making caramel. Helps to prevent crystallization while cooking)
1/4 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 large egg yolks, in a separate mixing bowl.
In a sauce pot combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice together and begin to heat on high.. stirring initially then letting it go to cook to a nice amber color. Once the sugar starts caramelizing (amber color) star stirring with a wooden spoon and watching it. Amber is good… black is burnt, and it happens quickly. Remove the dark amber liquid from the heat and carefully pour in the heavy cream. It will spatter and bubble up, so go slow and keep stirring while pouring. After all the cream is added, start adding in the butter and mix. Slowly temper in the buttery caramel sauce into the egg yolks. Mix slowly and combine in evenly,
For The Pudding Base:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine the brown sugar, kosher salt, and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Mix to combine. Pour in the cold whole milk and mix. Slowly begin to heat, stirring all the while, and cook the pudding until bubbling. Add the vanilla extract and mix in.
For The Finished Butterscotch Pudding:
Slowly pour in the caramel custard into the pudding base while mixing. Add it all, including scraping down the caramel custard pot bottom and sides. Mix together completely and heat to finalize the cooking. Mix bottom and sides of the potm and bring to a slow simmer. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl through a fine mesh strainer to catch any clumps. If you don't care about clumps or don't have a fine mesh strainer… then meh. Cool and lay plastic wrap on top of the surface to prevent “skin”. Serve warm (like I enjoy) or cold and do your own thing.