Fat Cat Pie Co.'s Butterscotch Pudding

Stephanie Webster

Chef Robert Herlihy, Chef at Fat Cat Pie Co., puts out a darn fine thin crust pizza, but if you've never tasted his Butterscotch Pudding, you are missing out. This dessert has garnered a cult-like following amongst those in the know. Personally, the obsession stems from a subtle saltiness hiding under the smooth sweet pudding. I thank Chef Herlihy for sharing this recipe with us. If you sample this dish at Fat Cat Pie Co. or in the comfort of your home, let us know what you think. 

Fat Cat Pie Co.'s Butterscotch Pudding

You will need:

(12) 6 oz. ramekins or custard cups, a shallow baking pan {water bath} aluminum foil

Oven Temp. 400 degrees


1 qt. heavy cream 

2 cups whole milk 

12 egg yolks 

1 cup granulated sugar 

1⁄3 cup brown sugar 

1⁄4 cup water 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 teaspoons salt

In a saucepan combine cream, milk, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Place on stove over medium heat. Now place all the egg yolks {completely white free} in a bowl. While the cream is heating we must caramelize the granulated sugar in a pan with the 1⁄4 cup of water. To do this simply place the pan over high heat till the sugar begins to caramelize and becomes a deep copper color.*

*Important note here; if you cook the sugar too long and burn it {dark brown} your puddings will have an unpleasant burnt taste.

When the sugar is ready, working quickly but carefully, pour it into the hot cream. There will occur a small thermal explosion when you do this, so don't burn yourself. If the sugar when added to the cream becomes a huge hard ball it means that your cream was not hot enough, no problem- just put the mixture back on the stove until the sugar dissolves. When you have a nice amber liquid of sugary cream it's time to add the eggs. With a ladle, slowly add some of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking the eggs as we go. We're tempering the yolks here before adding them to the hot cream. Do two or three ladles like this, now we can steadily add this egg mixture to the hot cream sugar solution. Whisk to combine, but slowly-- we don't want bubbles here.

Strain this through a mesh colander into something that will allow pouring from, like a big pitcher. Pour the uncooked pudding into 12 custard cups evenly and carefully; these vessels are also the serving bowls, remember. Have enough boiling or very, very hot water to pour into the bottom of your shallow baking dish, come about 1⁄4 of the way up. Place the puddings into the water, watching the displacement; you want the water to come about 1⁄2 way up the outside of the cups now. Cover the entire baking dish tightly with foil to keep the steam in. We're steaming these in the oven which is why the water has to be very, very hot when we start and the foil has to be airtight or near enough. Into the hot oven we go, 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

After 15 minutes give a look, but be careful, steam burns are the worst. The puddings should appear a lot less liquid but still ‘jiggly’ in the middle. If they get overcooked they look bubbly and separated -not good. When ready, take them out of the oven and uncover. When cool enough to handle place individually into the fridge. They'll firm up more as they cool. Serve alone or with a dollop of either crème fraîche or whipped cream. Enjoy!