In Lesson 28 of When Sue Began to Cook, Sue and her best friend Ruth Ann learn to make butterscotch pudding. This takes place long before the days of boxed puddings. The only way to get a butterscotch flavored pudding was to follow a recipe like this one. If you’ve been following along since the beginning, you’ve seen the girls’ progress in the kitchen. If you’re new to the series, click the linked book title and it should take you to the beginning.
A recipe like Butterscotch Pudding required the cook to be able to beat an egg until it turned light yellow, no easy feat. These days, using an electric mixer or whisk does the job in a fraction of the time. It also requires much less effort. This recipe is made in a double boiler, which is a metal bowl made to fit over a pan. Don’t have a double boiler? Simply use a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat and keep an eye on the mixture.
Sue’s Notes from the Butterscotch Pudding lesson
When our pudding was done, Mother had us pour it into our nice little glass sherbet cups. We set these on the ice-box to cool, and after they were cold enough not to melt the ice, we put them inside to get very cold. Mother says we must remember never to put hot or warm things into the ice-box. It waastes ice.
Butterscotch Pudding is good with either thin cream (which we know as Half & Half, light cream, or coffee cream) or whipped cream. We used thin cream because we didn’t have any that was thick enough to whip.
The little boys come to lunch
Mother allowed Robin to invite Teddy to lunch today, and so Ruth Ann and I decided to make Robin’s favorite dessert, Butterscotch Pudding. Robin and Teddy have really been unusually good to us this Spring, making us each a bird house and all, and we wanted to reward them. Mother said it was a very good idea.
“Will it take all the pudding — both Sue’s and mine — for lunch, Aunt Bettina?” asked Ruth Ann when both our double boilers were bubbling away.
“Why, dear?” Mother asked.
“Well, Grandmother has a headache today, and I thought perhaps she would like one dish of it.”
“There will surely be plenty for that,” Mother said. “I’ll tell you, we’ll fill my pretty little pudding mould with some, and when it is very cold, we’ll slip the pudding out and you can take it home on a pretty plate. Do you girls know what to do to the mould before the pudding is put in, so it will come out easily and smoothly?”
I remembered because I’ve helped Mother fix gelatine in a mould. She dips the mould in cold water just before she adds the pudding. Then when it’s time to serve it, the pudding or gelatine slips out just as easily, with only a little helping!
- 1 double boiler pan set or use a heavy pan and keep an eye on it
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 egg, beaten until it is light yellow
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Put sugar, flour, and salt into the upper part of a double boiler and mix it all together until it is lump free. Pour in the milk a little at a time, stirring all the while so it doesn't lump. When all the milk is added, set the upper part of the double boiler over the lower part which is filled halfway with water, and turn on the heat. After the water begins to boil, cook the pudding for 25 minutes by the clock. Every few minutes give it a stir to keep it smooth and even.
- At the end of the 25 minutes, add the beaten egg and the butter, and cook the pudding two more minutes. Then remove it from the heat and beat it with a spoon for one minute. Add the vanilla and mix it in well. Pour into serving cups and refrigerate.