Butterscotch has been straddled with a pretty lame reputation. It’s because the first thing a lot of people think about when they hear “Butterscotch” now is those cheap little yellow candies that always line the bottom of a Trick or Treat bucket a month or so after October 31st.
For most of us, those little Brachs candy ripoffs are the celery sticks of the candy world. They’re just something to munch on while we’re waiting for something better to come along. They were also the things that my grandma had scattered around her house in little crytal bowls. Those and melba toast.
Other than the candies and of course syrrup, butterscotch is rarely ever offered in another form. I’ve actually never been offered butterscotch pudding before, and only ever glimpsed it on the shelf at the grocery store.
When it comes to pudding, I’ve only known one mom across my whole life who actually made it from scratch. Mrs. Blankenship was the mother of my best friend Darrell. Her accent was fresh from Turkey, and I could barely understand her, but she made the most incredible pistachio pudding! I get that, though, that no one else makes pudding anymore. There are several innovations across the grocery shelf that have made doing it yourself all together pointless. Salted roasted peanuts, orange juice, spaghetti sauce, these are all things that we can easily make for ourselves but it’s so cheap and easy to buy it off the shelf now, there’s really no point. In 1936 Jello brand provided this convenience for the homemade pudding maker with their currently priced $1.09 box that serves four in just minutes. Just add milk.
I first attempted homemade pudding back on National Banana Cream Pie Day (May 22). Well, technically I first made pudding on National Plum Pudding Day (Feb. 17), but that’s like, old timey pudding. Since then, I’ve made it a few times more, and each time it’s made me chuckle at how exactly the same from scratch pudding is in comparison to making the instant stuff. Just boil up some milk, add in some powdery stuff (sugar and cornstarch), and stir it till it thickens up.
Yet, for National Butterscotch Pudding Day, I was actually about to take the “easy” way out, mainly because I really didn’t know what butterscotch was. Fortunately, I got curious and read that it was pretty much just cooked brown sugar and butter. Boringly enough, it seems to be general blogger consensus that the “scotch” part of butterscotch was originally pronounced scorch, as in really hot. So, there’s no scotch in there at all. Still, I didn’t see why a butterscotch pudding couldn’t have scotch in it.
I found a guy who had a recipe for butterscotch pudding that contained a couple teaspoons of whiskey, and modified it slightly. I only varied it by adding a little extra corn starch, something that it would need to absorb the full shot glass of Dewars 12 that I was going to combine in half the ingredients. This turned out to be a genius move! The scotch was very present in the pudding,
but not overtly like the booze tends to be in a bar mixed drink. It kind of sits in there like the rum in a rum raisin cake. Served in a rocks glass and squirted with some whipped cream, this was one of my better inventions to date, for sure. I didn’t even notice that I left out the eggs.
See you Thursday for National Punch Day.