Tuesday 3 February 2015

Butterscotch Pudding...or butterscotch dip for fruit

When oh when will I learn not to trust Pinterest or the Pioneer Woman?

I love the Pioneer Woman's writing, and the photos she takes are fantastic, making all her food look absolutely amazing. But whenever I have tried her recipes, I lose a bit of my faith.

This time facebook was partly to blame. A photo of her butterscotch pudding came up, beautifully presented in a dessert glass and I thought fondly of the Jell-o instant pudding I enjoyed in my youth. "Oh, I'll try hers - I bet it'll be even better than Jell-o's finest!"

Well, I tell you, I wish I'd just used jell-o. Not that I can get it here unless I mail order and pay an extortionate sum of money.

But the recipe looked simple, so I thought I should give it a shot.

And one thing it called for was cornstarch. Of course, here we don't have cornstarch we have:

Same thing, different name. And the above product is different from cornmeal, known as coarse polenta around here.

Next went in some brown sugar packed into one of my many measuring cups that has the handle broken off right where the measurement is printed. I spend a lot of time comparing the cups in my drawer trying to figure out which sized cup I am holding.

So a cup and a half of brown sugar went in with some cornflour and a bit of salt.

Then came a stressful moment for me: separating eggs. Yes, it should be simple, and everyone has their methods but I still break yolks far more than I'd like to admit. These eggs were pretty fresh from the market, so the yolks stayed solid. Score.

And yes, now four egg whites will sit in my fridge for a day, and maybe I'll transfer them to a freezer bag where they will lie on the bottom shelf for all eternity, telling myself I'll use them for meringues one day. I don't kid myself into thinking I will make an omelette, as I'm not really a fan.

Three cups of milk went in from another measuring cup with a broken handle. If I use a measuring jug I can get confused as here they label 10oz as a cup, when the American recipes I'm referring to measure a cup as 8oz.

One the milk had been added, in went the yolks.


Stir stir stir.

A lot of stirring. It took about ten minutes to heat up and begin to thicken.

Finally it started to bubble, so I let it do so at rapid speed for about 30 seconds.

And I cackled "bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!" while waving my arms around. Someone had to.

Then the heat went off and I was supposed to stir in a tiny amount of butter, but I forgot. I poured it into bowls to cool.

And naturally I had a warm sample. My initial reaction was that it would be good as a sauce on something, but it was too sweet on its own.

I added some unsweetened cream on top to dilute the sweetness, but alas, it was still a bit too sweet and uninspiring for me.

However, the next day I tried cutting up some apple and dipping slices in this and it was perfect. Gooey sweetness contrasting with crunchy sharpness. Yum. So I may just scale it down next time and use it solely as a fruit dip when I want to indulge sometime.

You can find the Pioneer Woman's recipe here, or below: 


  • 1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Light Or Dark Is Fine
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch/cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 4 whole Large Egg Yolks 
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (if you remember)
  •  Unsweetened Whipped Cream

Preparation Instructions

Gently whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium nonstick pan.
In a separate pitcher or bowl, whisk together the milk and egg yolks. Pour it into the pan with the brown sugar mixture and stir to combine.
Turn on the heat to medium and cook, stirring gently, until the mixture just starts to bubble up/get very thick. (This can take a good 10 minutes or so.) When it reaches pudding consistency, stir in the butter until melted, then remove it from the heat and spoon it into bowls, glasses (be careful; mixture is hot), demitasse cups, etc. Chill the pudding for at least 1 hour or until very cold.
Top with unsweetened whipped cream and serve!

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