Ingredients from How to Cook Everything, 10th edition; method my mother's (you can add 3 eggs after it starts to thicken if you want "real" pudding--temper the eggs with a bit of the hot milk mixture first)
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
- 3 T. cornstarch
- pinch salt
- 2/3 c. sugar (brown if you want butterscotch)
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 T. butter, optional
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine, if you want chocolate pudding
- Combine 2 cups milk, sugar, salt in microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 80% power for 2 minutes or so and stir. Milk should be hot.
- Combine cornstarch with remaining milk and stir until there are no lumps. Add this to the hot milk mixture and microwave at 80% until thickened (stir every minute). Mixture will look like a thin cream sauce and coat a spoon; it will thicken more as it chills. Stir in vanilla (and chocolate if using).
- Pour into 1-quart dish or 4-6 ramekins. Cover with saran wrap unless you don't mind a "skin" forming on the pudding.
- Chill thoroughly.
*In case you're curious, here are the ingredients on a box of sugar-free, instant butterscotch pudding: modified corn starch, tapioca dextrin, artificial flavor, sodium phosphate, nonfat milk, caramel color. Contains less than 2% of the following: salt, titanium dioxide (for color?), microcrystalline celluluse, aspartame, mono- and diglycerides, acesulfame potassium, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, yellow 6 and 5.
Compare to non-sugar-free, homemade butterscotch: whole milk, brown sugar (sugar, molasses), cornstarch, vanilla, salt. (Butter is optional; it would fall after the cornstarch in this line up).