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Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

Savor a warm spoonful of Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding and get ready to be thankful. How can anything be so fragrant, creamy, and rich while being downright healthy, thrifty, and easy?

My notes say Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding is "superb+" warm. But the delightful fragrance and taste fades as it chills. It's good at room temperature, OK straight from the fridge, and bland made into ice cream. Lesson? Get it while it's hot. [Update: I now make this recipe dairy-free by using canned coconut milk and no egg.]

pumpkin butterscotch pudding with roasted pumpkin and pumpkin puree

Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. Serves 4.

Recipe ingredients:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (110 grams)
3 tablespoons corn starch (24 grams)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups milk, 2% fat
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla

Recipe method

  1. Measure dry ingredients into a medium pot. Whisk to combine, getting rid of lumps. Add 1 cup of milk. Whisk mixture until smooth.
  2. Whisk egg into remaining milk, then stir into pudding. Stir in pumpkin puree, then bring pudding to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally at first and then more frequently to prevent burning. When pudding starts to boil, whisk constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla until just blended. Pour into four custard cups or small bowls.
  4. Let cool about 10 minutes to allow pudding to set. Serve warm. Cover and refrigerate any extra for up to four days. For best flavor, let chilled pudding come to room temperature before serving.

    homemade pumpkin butterscotch pudding with Jack Be Little pumpkin

Recipe tips and notes

  • Healthy for you. Get protein from milk and eggs, fiber and beta-caratene from pumpkin, and antioxidants from cinnamon and nutmeg. As desserts go, it's low in fat. It's also healthy for what's not in it: artificial coloring and flavors, preservatives, and additives to mask age.
  • Healthy for your community. Use organic, local, and sustainably grown milk, eggs, and even pumpkin.
  • Make pumpkin puree from your Jack-o-Lantern or a cooking pumpkin used as one. Boil chucks of raw pumpkin for about 30 minutes or oil them lightly and roast at 400°F for about 40 minutes. Scrape out pumpkin flesh and process in the food processor fitted with a steel blade until smooth.

Reader Comments (5)

Where is the butterscotch in this recipe? It does sound really good.

Nov 14, 2011 | Registered Commentercheryl

Cheryl, the butterscotch just comes from using the dark brown sugar plus the fat in the milk. You could add butter, but I don't think it's needed.

I had a great weekend recently trying three caramel and butterscotch variations from Michael Ruhlman's fabulous book Ratio. The butterscotch won.

Nov 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

We are lactose intolerant. Would almond milk work well in this recipe? It sounds delicious.


Nov 28, 2011 | Registered Commenteranndeupree

Yes, Ann, almond milk should work fine. If the milk is sweetened, just add less sugar. I used to make pudding with soy milk all the time. If you try it, please let us know how it turned out!
... Linda

Nov 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

Can you suggest how to turn this into a vegan recipe? I think using almond milk (or maybe your coconut milk?) but what to use instead of the egg? (I'm not imaging the flax egg works in this case...) I can use guar gum or xanthan gum, but I'm hoping there's a more real-food-based version.

This might be a good use for the other half of the pumpkin from your new Persian Pumpkin Curry w/ Chickpeas (for those of us that start with a whole pumpkin or butternut squash).

Jan 23, 2014 | Registered CommenterMatthew
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