Because you need another idea for Thanksgiving dessert. No one can deny that. While the savory side of the table may already be filled to the brim with stuffing, turkey, and sausage soup, there’s always room for one more after the meal.
While you might favor tradition in the form of apple turnovers, pear crisp, and pumpkin custards (all with just five ingredients!), this year we’re drawn to an old-fashioned gooey dessert: butterscotch pudding.
To build out the butterscotch flavor, you don’t have to do anything fancy. Brown sugar arrives already packed with a deliciously rich butterscotch flavor, and once the sugar is paired with butter and bubbling until it’s thick and syrupy, you’ve got a fine base for a pudding.
That pudding comes about thanks to half and half, corn starch, and egg yolks. Together, those two key ingredients turn that load of butterscotch into a thickened pudding with a killer mouthfeel. Once the pudding is all combined, you distribute the custard among several ramekins, or you can pour it right into one big dish, an especially welcome idea if you’re serving a big crowd at Thanksgiving.
But that’s not all. While the pudding begins to set, you grab the frying pan again and repeat the beginning steps of making butterscotch pudding, only this time, there’s no diluting the butter-sugar flavor with much in the way of cream or eggs. No, this batch we leave as thick as candy, then drizzle it onto the plain cups for extra flavor and gorgeous decoration.
A dollop of whipped cream finishes the pudding’s look.
Get the recipe below.
Five-Ingredient Double Butterscotch Pudding
8 tablespoons salted butter
4 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
Whipped cream for serving, optional
Bring the eggs, butter and cream to room temperature. In a small saucepan combine half of the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of the butter on medium-high heat, swirling constantly, 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbling and nuttily fragrant.
Add 2 cups of the half and half to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes more, or until the mixture comes to a boil. As soon as the mixture is boiling remove it from the heat as it can easily boil over.
In a large bowl combine the egg yolks and cornstarch and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
Temper the eggs: Slowly add one-third of the hot half and half mixture to the cornstarch-egg mixture, whisking as you pour. This process, known as tempering, helps to ensure that the eggs don’t scramble. Once thoroughly combined, slowly whisk in the remaining 2/3 of the half and half mixture.
Return the custard base to the same saucepan used to boil the half and half mixture and cook, on medium, whisking vigorously and constantly to avoid lumps, 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened. Transfer the mixture to desired serving dishes (6 small ones or one big one) and set aside to cool while you make the butterscotch topping.
Make the butterscotch topping: In a clean, medium saucepan, combine the remaining butter and brown sugar. Cook, swirling and stirring frequently with a rubber spatula for 2 minutes and then for an additional 2 minutes without stirring. Once the butter-sugar mixture begins to smell like caramel and is a rich brown color, add the remaining 1/2 cup half and half and cook for an additional 30 seconds, swirling constantly until fully incorporated. Top each of the puddings with about 2 tablespoons of the butterscotch and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Enjoy! Top with dollops of whipped cream if you like.