Baking & Dessert

By Lindsay Hunt | January 26, 2011

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

I imbue family recipes with importance I don’t even give to published cookbooks.  Something about knowing it worked for my mother or grandmother, or even great-grandmother, makes me hesitant to change the way they’ve written a recipe.  At culinary school I even centered my big project around my grandmother’s recipe box.  One recipe for a Ham Souffle she called for spam instead of ham.  That time I allowed a modification to the ingredient list.

So with most recipes, I am constantly making notes as I cook.  Measuring and weighing here, timing there.  So for my mom’s Butterscotch Pudding, origins unknown, I hesitated to change the recipe one bit.  The directions are sparse, but they work.

Other than weighing the brown sugar and butter for other digital scale-lovers like me, I only added one note: this pudding only takes 15 minutes to make.  That’s worth saying, because when you want a homemade dessert, that urge can be overwhelmed by a long recipe with many steps.  This is measure, stir, go out for a walk and come home to chilled, delicious butterscotch pudding.

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 11/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz) unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 tsp vanilla


1. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk and cream. Bring to boil over medium heat.

2. Boil, whisking for one minute.

3. Remove from heat.

4. Whisk in butter and vanilla.

5. Pour into bowl and cover with buttered wax paper.

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