This Butterscotch Bourbon Budino with Salted Caramel is like a pudding cup for grown ups. It’s a rich and creamy indulgent treat that’s not overly sweet.
I’m going to come right out and say it – I’m not a chocolate fan. On any given day I’ll surely take a scoop of vanilla ice cream over some chocolately chunk creation. I’d say that at least 10% of the population agrees with me on this one, but we’re definitely in the minority.
But today, I’m sharing with you a recipe for a Butterscotch Bourbon Budino with Salted Caramel that is guaranteed to knock the socks off even the die hard chocoholics. Budino is basically a fancy word for pudding – It’s an Italian custard with a thick and creamy texture. I first learned about it in this cooking class that I took at Dobbes Estate Winery. We made a chocolate hazelnut budino with fresh whipped cream. And, while it was amazing, this non-chocolate fan was dying to try it in a different way.
Enter butterscotch and bourbon… and just because we can, some salted caramel for good measure.
I’ve talked about my salted caramel sauce before… my boyfriend’s obsession with it, and my never ending quest to find more and more ways to use it. For example, I used it in these Salted Caramel Apple Tartlets (spiked with a bit of apple brandy), as a topping for these Almond Thumbprint Butter Cookies, I even topped our Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie with it. It’s amazingly simple and quick to make – I even timed it – just 15 minutes from start to finish!
Just like that salted caramel sauce, the custard for these butterscotch budinos is simple to make too. The most time consuming part is waiting for it to chill after the cooking process – It’ll take at least 4 hours. Because of this, I generally like to make them a day or two ahead of when I plan to serve them – I just divide the custard among some small serving jars, and place them in the fridge. These Weck tulip jars are my favorite because they come with glass covers that clamp on, almost like a fancy pudding cup.
The salted caramel sauce can be made ahead of time as well, even up to a week beforehand. When you’re ready to serve, simply heat up the caramel, drizzle a bit over each budino and top them with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of pistachios. Did you know that Wonderful Pistachios now sells pistachios with no shells? It makes them super easy to use in recipes like this one.
If you sample the custard on its own, you may be surprised when you’re cooking up the custard that it really doesn’t seem too sweet. It’s got a mild flavor, with just a hint of sweetness, that makes it easy to eat spoonful after spoonful. It’s that salted caramel on the top gives it an extra oomph and makes it just so yummy without being a major sugar bomb. It’s just the right balance of sweet, creamy and salty that makes it overly simple to say “yes” to seconds.
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1½ tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1½ Tbsp. bourbon
- 15-Minute Salted Caramel Sauce, for topping
- Whipped Cream, for topping
- Chopped pistachos, for topping
- Combine heavy cream and milk in a large bowl. Whisk together egg, egg yolks and cornstarch in a medium bowl. In a large pot set over medium-low heat stir together brown sugar, water and salt until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and allow to boil without stirring, until the mixture turns thick and dark amber in color, occasionally scraping the sides of the pot with a rubber spatula, about 7 minutes. Immediately add in cream mixture and whisk to combine and dissolve sugary bits. Bring mixture to a boil, watching pot carefully to avoid boiling over, then reduce heat to medium. Whisk half of this hot caramel mixture into the egg mixture. Return mixture to pot and whisk to combine until custard boils and thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and bourbon.
- Divide custard among ten 6-ounce glasses or cups. Chill uncovered until cold, about 4 hours.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon caramel sauce over each budino and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.
Wine Pairings for Butterscotch Budino with Salted Caramel:
- Tawny Port is one of my favorite wine pairings for creamy, custard dishes – It’s hints of caramel and slight nuttiness pair nicely with the flavors in this butterscotch budino.