A splash of bourbon adds a perfect kick to this easy homemade bourbon butterscotch pudding!
It feels like I’ve spoken more about simplicity recently. Sometimes to share how to make the seemingly complicated accessible, but mostly because it’s a theme on my mind as the year’s end approaches. Or maybe it’s just my current love of remaking childhood/retro recipes. It’s not gelatin-mold salad-level love just yet, but definitely pudding-level. I didn’t see gelatin mold salad outside the grocery deli case until adulthood though… South Florida isn’t “that” Southern. 😉
Pudding from scratch is something I feel every cook (who eats pudding) should master. Ingredients are minimal, cooking time is minimal, and unlike what you buy in the store, no preservatives! So then we feel slightly more virtuous eating it, right? Pudding also makes a great, easy recipe for a crowd, and you can freeze it in the summer for pudding pops. So many applications, darlings! It’s delightful!
Butterscotch pudding is extra special. Made with brown butter, the flavor is sweet with just a few caramel hints. Brown sugar is also a perfect pairing for bourbon. Bourbon also happens to be one of my favorite cooler-weather baking ingredients. It cooks out of whatever you’re baking, but leaves a great flavor. Normally, I associate it with warmer desserts, but this year, when I whipped up my butterscotch pudding, I realized that a little bourbon kick really made it amazing.
Adding a touch of cinnamon whipped cream up top (totally optional), made it absolute perfection. If you really wanted to get fancy, a bit of caramel might be nice too, but why complicate things? Simplicity is beautiful!
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, if you use salted, omit the salt
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, and then slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of the milk while whisking constantly. When the mixture is smooth, whisk in the egg yolks and remaining milk.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook 4-5 minutes until the pudding starts to thicken, whisking frequently to ensure even heat distribution. When it starts to bubble slightly, lower the heat to medium low and start stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir constantly for 4-5 minutes until the pudding has thickened enough to form ribbons when a bit is drizzled over the surface. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan while you stir!
- When the milk mixture is ready, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and bourbon, mixing constantly until the butter has melted and fully incorporated into the pudding.
- Pour the pudding through the strainer to remove any lumps, then transfer to a large bowl or individual serving containers. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap along the entire surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours until set. Top with a bit of whipped cream and cinnamon if desired. 🙂