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Jan 8, 2007 04:36 PM

Why did my butterscotch pudding thin out in the fridge?

Yesterday I made butterscotch pudding from Chris Kimball's Dessert Bible. It was nice and thick when I poured it into the ramekins and stuck them into the fridge, but it thinned out in the fridge and I have no idea why. Here's the process:

Sift 2/3 c. dark brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1/8 tsp. salt. Put into pan and pour in the dairy (either 2 c. 1/2 and 1/2, or 1-1/3 c. whole milk and 2/3 c. heavy cream - I used the latter since that's what I had). Heat while whisking, after a couple of minutes add in 1-1/2 oz. butter, stir until it "bubbles and thickens". Take off heat and whisk into bowl where 2 egg yolks, 1 tsp. bourbon and 2 Tbsp. vanilla have been combined. Pour back into pot and heat for another minute.

The flavor was good but I do not understand why it thinned so much. Time elapsed between refrigerating the pudding and eating the pudding was maybe 5 hours. My cornstarch was fresh from the grocery store and the eggs were pretty fresh also. Any thoughts or hints?

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  1. I have a recipe from Saveur that is a Butter Scotch Supreme Pie recipe. Would the pudding that you made be the same as it would be for a pie recipe had it turned out?

    1 Reply
    1. re: chef chicklet

      I'm not sure (I have never eaten - or made, obviously - butterscotch pie), but I'd imagine so.

    2. You did not cook it long enough. Puddings and custards like that which are going to set up need to be cooked until the custard/pudding coats the back of a spoon. Those egg yolks needed to cook longer than a minute to do their job.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Candy

        It was a lot thicker than, let's say, cooked custard ice cream bases I have made. In those instances I would do the "run your finger across the back of the spoon" test. In this case I didn't even think to do that because it seemed quite thick. In fact I thought maybe it was too thick to really pour. It kind of glopped into the ramekins. Is that a function of the cornstarch as opposed to the eggs yolks? How do I tell how long to cook it?

      2. Have to agree. When custards don't set it is almost always from undercooking. I've done the same thing myself. The instructions don't have you cook the eggs long enough to thicken the pudding.

        1. Here is my recipe that varies very much from yours, see what all of you think?

          1 Cup dark brown syrup
          1/4 C butter
          1/4 cup water
          1T butter
          1T corn syrup
          3T All purpose flour
          3T cornstarch
          1/ 3/4 C milk
          3 egg yolks
          1/2 Cup sugaar
          1 baked pie shell
          Whipped cream and walnuts

          The butterscotch is made seperately and handled like candy.
          1. Mix the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1/4 cup of water
          in a heavy bottom medium sauce pan/ Stir constantly over med heat or until mixture reaches 250degrees on candy thermometer aprox 15 mins. Immeditaley lower the heat, to keep the temp at 250deg. keeping butterscotch warm.
          2.Mix flour and cornstarch in med bowl. whisk in 1/2 cup milk, Whisk in egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Combine sugar, salt, remaining 1/1/4 cup milk in heavy sauce pan and bring just to a boil over med heat. Whisk 1/2 cup of hot mixture into the egg yolk,then whisk the yolk mixture into the remaining hot milk. Cook over low heat whisking constantly until thick and boiling, about 1 minute. Boil 1 minute more, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

          3.Immediately mix together warm butterscotch and the custard mixture, Pour into a baked pie shell. Allow to cool to room temp and then refrigerate until set about 2 hours. Serve topped with whip cream and nuts

          1. It really does need to coat the back of a spoon and also should be stirred when taken off the heat to release some of the steam from the heat. Stir well until pretty well cooled. This is why some recipes have you cool it, stirring in an ice bath.

            Here is some more info