Friday, October 1, 2010

Butterscotch Pudding with Toasted Almonds

This dessert has to set in the refrigerator for at least an hour; to make the most out of serving it in a pumpkin shell, I recommend preparing this dessert several hours before the party. Have six or more ½ cup ramekins on the dessert table, so guests can ladle portions from the pumpkin full o’ pudding!

Servings: 6 (more when servings are small for your dessert party)
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus refrigeration

6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sliced almonds
Whipped cream

Whisk together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook until the butter is melted, then cook for 5 minutes more whisking constantly. The mixture will be bubbly. Remove from the heat.

Cook the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium high heat until it just begins to boil. Pour the warm milk into the butter mixture. Return to medium high heat and whisk until smooth.

Place the cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Pour about ¼ cup of the butterscotch mixture into the cornstarch and whisk until smooth.

Whisk the cornstarch back into warm milk, bring to a boil, and cook until the butterscotch thickens.

Place the egg yolks in a small bowl. Pour about ¼ cup of the butterscotch mixture into the eggs. Whisk this mixture back into the warm milk. Cook for several minutes, whisking constantly. The mixture will thicken as it cooks.

Strain the mixture through a sieve or colander to get rid of any lumps.

Prepare a pumpkin shell and pour pudding into it; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the toasted almonds: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the cinnamon and the almonds. Cook until the almonds begin to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Serve the chilled pudding with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and a dollop of whipped cream.

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