Sunday, August 14, 2011

Butterscotch Pudding

I'm just gonna say it: I've had a tough week. So tough, in fact, that I've come down with spoon-food syndrome.

Spoon-food syndrome (SFS): The state of only wanting to eat comfort foods consumed with a spoon.

Things such as:

Cereal. Pudding. Soup. More pudding. More cereal. Spaghetti.

Wait. You don't eat spaghetti with a spoon?

Well I do, or at least I did this week. Even when the lady sitting across the lunch table looked at me funny over her super expensive sunglasses and schmancy mineral water. 

I don't care what you think, Manhattan Lady! I need my spoon this week, okay?!


Point is, I've gone through a lot of spoons this week. And, up until I made this pudding, all those spoons were shoveling food into my mouth that I hadn't made myself. Because if I'm suffering from SFS, I'm definitely not up for making said SF myself.

But then something happened.

I ran out of spoons.

If I wanted more spoon food, I was going to have to wash the dishes.

I thought it over, and decided that washing the dishes was less overwhelming than switching to forks (the horror!), so I got out the Dawn and a sponge and went to work.

But then something else happened while I stood there scrubbing spoons. I decided that if was going to the trouble to wash all those spoons, I might as well also go to the trouble of making something truly deserving of a shiny spoon. Something better than stale cereal, tomato soup, or takeout pasta.

This butterscotch pudding is what I chose. I don't really know why I chose it, frankly. I don't like butterscotch much, never have. Maybe it was the simplicity that was appealing; I already had the ingredients on hand.

This is the first time I've made pudding from scratch, and honestly, I don't think I'll ever go back to the instant stuff again. If I, impaired by SFS as I was, can handle pudding from scratch, anyone can. I even found the constant whisking to be comforting. I began to see a day when I'd pick up a fork again.

There's something else healing about this recipe: because it makes more pudding than one person can eat - no matter how many spoons she washes - one has to seek out friends to share it with. And friends, dear readers, are the foolproof cure for SFS.

Happy whisking,

Butterscotch Pudding
Adapted from David Liebovitz via JoytheBaker
Makes 4-6 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add dark brown sugar and salt, then stir until sugar is well-moistened. Remove from heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of cornstarch), then whisk in eggs.

3. Gradually pour heavy cream and remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.

4. Return pan to medium low heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.

5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. If slightly-curdled looking, blend in a food processor or blender (or just whisk the heck out of it).

6. Pour pudding into a bowl or 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and cover with plastic wrap, directly on top of pudding (unless you like pudding skin, in which case, plastic wrap doesn't need to touch top of pudding). Allow to cool and thicken in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.


  1. This morning, Paisley was putting away the silverware and stated, "We have too many spoons!" I had to laugh when I read this post bc it proves...that you can never have too many spoons! ;)

    Hope next week is better. The pudding looks therapeutic! Yum!

  2. I'm not usually a pudding fan, however this looks super yummy!

    :) Katie N

  3. Hi Katie and Becky,
    Remember me??? This is Jocelyn's mom. I can hardly wait to try your Butterscotch pudding. Knowing that is comes from David Liebovits, it's got to be good. Have your read his book: A Sweet Life in Paris??? Very funny, informative and really yummy recipes.
    Happy Baking.