Salted Butterscotch Pudding Cups. We need a minute too.
There isn’t one layer of this dessert we’re not in love with
Butterscotch candies are great. Creamy butterscotch pudding? Yes, please.
In this dessert, that pudding sits on a salted caramel sauce, maybe the perfect pairing for butterscotch pudding. For good measure (and a little texture) crumbled shortbread cookies sit at the base.
Expect silence at your table once people dive their spoons to the bottom of this dream dessert; diners will need a moment.
See how this recipe fits into a five-part vegetarian dinner party menu here!
Salted Butterscotch Pudding Cups
*If you don’t want to make the shortbread you can always crumble store-bought cookies (pulse in a food processor). Likewise, you could skip the step of making a caramel sauce and use a store-bought version.
This dessert is quite sweet, so small portion sizes are ideal.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Salted caramel sauce
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ cup unsalted butter, divided into 1 tbsp portions
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ cups heavy cream
- 6 tbsp salted butter
To make the shortbread crumble*: butter a 9-inch baking tin and set aside. In a large bowl combine the unsalted butter, white sugar and salt. Once uniform, add the egg yolk and mix in. Lastly add the all-purpose flour and mix until a crumbly dough forms — it should look like sand. Butter your hands and tip the shortbread dough into the prepared baking dish. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly into the base of the dish. Use a fork to poke tiny holes all over the shortbread and transfer the dish to the freezer for 20 minutes to firm it up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Place the baking tin into the oven and bake for 33 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove it from the oven and place on a cooling rack to let it cool completely. Break the shortbread into large chunks and place them into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Set aside.
To make the salted caramel sauce*: combine sugar and water in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Swirl the pan gently (use caution, the sugar will be dangerously hot) and use a pastry brush to wipe down the sides of the pan and rid them of any sugar crystals. Allow the sugar to boil for 4-5 minutes or until it is a deep amber colour. Again, be careful; if you take your eye off of the sauce for even seconds it could burn. Remove the sugar from the heat and add the butter — the sauce will bubble so use care here too. Whisk everything together and once uniform, add the salt and pour in the heavy cream slowly while whisking. Set the caramel sauce aside to cool.
To make the butterscotch pudding: in a bowl, whisk together brown sugar, sea salt, vanilla extract and egg yolks. In a second small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and ½ cup of milk — make sure there are no lumps.
In a medium saucepan, warm the remaining milk over medium-low heat. Pour a bit of the warm milk into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk to temper — otherwise the hot milk will scramble the egg yolks. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the warm milk and whisk. Turn the heat up to medium and add the cornstarch slurry. Continue whisking until the pudding begins to thicken. Add the heavy cream & butter and continue to whisk until the pudding begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and transfer to a cool bowl to stop the cooking process.
To assemble, start by cutting out eight pieces of wax paper the same size as the opening of your serving jars or cups. Line the bottom of each serving jar with about one finger’s height of crushed shortbread crust. Next, pour in about ¼ cup of the salted caramel sauce and shake the serving jar gently to help it settle into a flat layer. Finally, top with the butterscotch pudding. Place a piece of the prepared wax paper directly over top of each pudding – this will help prevent a skin from forming — and place the jars in the fridge to set for a minimum of 1 hour.
When ready to serve, remove jars from the fridge and allow them to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the wax paper, smooth out the tops with the back of a spoon and sprinkle with sea salt before serving.