I was never a believer in butterscotch pudding until I made it from scratch. Butterscotch pudding can be so much more than a packaged snack. Try this Cognac Butterscotch Pudding for a heavenly homemade pudding that is absolutely worth making at home. Top it off with cognac-flavored whipped cream for even more indulgence.
Begin by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the back of a small paring knife. Drop the bean and the seeds into the melting butter. Once the butter begins to bubble and brown, stir in the brown sugar and salt until the sugar is coated with the butter. Turn off the heat for a moment.
Whisk together 1/4 cup of the milk with cornstarch until smooth and free from lumps. Add the egg yolks and whisk until blended.
Pour the remaining whole milk and heavy cream into the brown sugar while whisking. Whisk in the cornstarch-milk-egg yolk mixture. Turn the heat back on and bring it to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Once the pudding begins to bubble and thicken, lower the heat to a simmer, and whisk constantly, allowing the pudding to thicken a little more until you are able to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the cognac.
Pour the custards into your serving cups and top each with a square of waxed paper or plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the puddings. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to cool and thicken.
Make the whipped cream by whisking the heavy cream in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer until thickened and soft peaks form. Add the sugar and cognac and whisk a little more. Keep chilled in a tightly sealed container.