Yesterday was National Pie Day, a perfect excuse to gussy up a pie. Well, things happened – I improvised – now we have butterscotch pudding to account for, which was really intended to fill a graham cracker crumb crust but the crackers didn’t quite happen either.
The hat goes off to Melanie of The Grecian Garden for this pudding. She submitted a grain-free butterscotch pie for Sugar High Friday (today’s the last day to send in your entry, folks, until midnight!) and as soon as I saw it I knew: I wanted to make it. Now. While Melanie’s crust uses almond flour, I opted for a gluten-free graham cracker crust using Elizabeth Barbone’s recipe from Serious Eats – a recipe I’ve been eyeing for a good while. The crackers as far as actual crackers go didn’t go as planned but I got some nice cookie bars that were gobbled down and I had to make a second round of them.
I got excited when I first saw the ingredients for the pie filling because, besides having all the ingredients on hand, its base is very similar – if not the same – as an SCD candy that I’ve made several times. It’s like a caramel sauce, using just coconut milk and honey.
On its own, the honey and coconut milk candy quickly sets as it cools, hardening and making it nearly impossible to scrape off but add some butter or coconut oil and it becomes a proper caramel sauce in its own right. The addition of eggs and vanilla make it into a pudding that can then be eaten on its own with a spoon, used as pie filling (as was originally intended here), or anything your imagination strikes a fancy to.
Linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
From Melanie of The Grecian Garden
The only thing tweaked here, besides using honey in place of coconut palm sugar, is the technique. Adding the butter first to the candy before the eggs and vanilla allows it to melt and congeal properly. Once you’ve added the butter – or coconut oil – it makes it a caramel sauce, as mentioned already, if you’re not in the mood for butterscotch.
I’m listing the butter only in weight since my tablespoon measurements of butter are by feel when I don’t use a tablespoon to measure (no sticks of butter either with the measurement lines), I just impulsively slice a good chunk off the brick. I’ve found that my by-feel measurement is often just a little more than a standard tablespoon measurement, thus for the sake of recipe writing I feel that I’ll less likely mislead someone if I list it by weight rather than tablespoons.
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, tinned or made from scratch
77 grams cold or room temperature unsalted butter, cut in pieces or 6 tbsp. soft or liquid coconut oil
3 large or medium eggs, beaten
3 tsp. vanilla extract
Cook the honey and coconut milk in a small pot over medium heat until it starts to bubble and thicken, smelling similar to buttered popcorn. It should be slightly caramel in colour. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until melted.
Pour a small amount of the caramel sauce into the beaten eggs, mixing vigorously to avoid curdling. Add another small amount of caramel to the eggs and repeat. Pour the tempered eggs into the caramel sauce and cook over low to medium heat, continuing to whisk constantly to avoid the eggs scrambling, until the pudding has thickened and begins to bubble. (If the eggs do scramble, simply strain the pudding with a fine sieve* and throw away the cooked egg bits.)
Take the pudding off the heat and add vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl and cover, chilling in fridge until it has reached a thickened consistency for 1 to 2 hours or until ready to serve. Enjoy!
*My sieve stand-in is a fine mesh stainless steel food cover and it works like a charm.