Baked Butterscotch Pudding

2 cups Cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup Sugar
8 Egg yolks
1/4 cup Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 teaspoon Salt
2 1/2 tablespoons scotch (preferably a strong single malt), (burbon, or brandy*)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the cream and milk in a heavy-based saucepan and heat until just under a boil. While cream is heating, place sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and cook until sugar turns a medium amber. Tilt and swirl the pan until all sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the cream slowly and be careful because it will bubble up and give off a great deal of steam. Place the pan back on the burner and dissolve any bits of caramel.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and Scotch. Temper the eggs with a portion of hot caramel cream. Whisk in the remaining cream. Strain the custard through a sieve into a pitcher and divide between 6 6- to 8-ounce ramekins or custard cups.

Place the filled ramekins in a shallow roasting pan and place the pan on a lower oven shelf. Make a hot water bath by filling the roasting pan with hot (near boiling) water, until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake the pudding at 325 degrees until just set, about 50 to 55 minutes.

Start checking the custards early, they are done when gently shaken, the edges are set and the center is jiggly but not runny. Allow the pudding to cool to room temperature in the water. Refrigerate the pudding for several hours or overnight before serving. The pudding will keep its dark color if refrigerated uncovered. It will taste no different but will look lighter if you cover it, which you should do (after it has cooled completely) if you have any strong flavored foods in your refrigerator. Can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.


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