I’m not sure where or when the current salted caramel craze got it’s start, but suddenly, it seems that salted caramel everything is everywhere.
I couldn’t be happier.
At least in Austin, the question of “where were you the first time you tasted salted caramel ice cream?” tends to spark some highly passionate recollections.
This afternoon, as threats of an unseasonable cold snap dominated every conversation, I got to thinking about comfort foods. Having made a few batches of vanilla and chocolate pudding lately (high up on any list of comfort foods) I got to thinking that it was time to try my hand at salted caramel. A brief Google search and I happened upon The Luna Cafe blog, which had a recipe for Salted Caramel Pudding, along with a fabulous primer on homemade puddings. The site was packed with hundreds of great recipes, so I subscribed and highly recommend it.
Once I was able to pull myself away from The Luna Cafe site, I tried my own spin on a Salted Caramel Pudding:
Most pudding recipes call for cornstarch, which isn’t on my 100 Ingredient List, but flour has proven to be a fine substitute. Simply use twice as much flour as corn starch. Raw sugar worked wonderfully, and also served as a beautiful topping for the hot pudding — lending a hint of creme brulee crunch.
- 3 cups whole milk at room temperature
- 6 Tbsp. flour
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- ¾ cup raw sugar (regular, white sugar would also work)
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- Set up ingredients on stovetop prior to cooking:
- Pour 2 cups of milk into a large measuring cup. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup of milk. Set aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl, whisk flour the the other 1/2 cup milk. Set aside.
- To make the caramel, add sugar to a stainless steel saucepan. Set over medium heat and whisk as the sugar begins to melt. Remove from heat once sugar has melted thoroughly and is a medium caramel color.
- Slowly and carefully whisk in 2 cups of room temperature milk. Stand aside as the mixture will appear to temporarily erupt. Don’t be concerned if the sugar solidifies into a single mass. Once the mixture has stopped sputtering, return the mixture to medium heat and simmer, whisking constantly.
- Once the hardened caramel has melted, whisk in the flour and milk mixture and bring to a low simmer for 2 minutes or so until the pudding thickens. Decrease heat.
- Ladle 1/2 cup of the hot pudding mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk rapidly. Add another 1/2 cup of the hot pudding and continue whisking.
- Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and continue stirring the pudding on medium-low heat until it thickens.
- Remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla and salt.
- Strain the pudding through a wire mesh (or skip this step if the possibility of lumps is not a problem).
- Pour into serving bowls and sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
- Allow to cool slightly and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Serve chilled.