Salted Caramel Pudding
Cool and creamy homemade pudding, full of the rich and buttery flavor of salted caramel, layered with crunchy chocolate cookie crumbs and fresh whipped cream. There’s no wrong time for this unforgettable dessert!
If I were to ask you, “What is the most memorable dessert you’ve ever tasted,” what pops into your brain?
Is it something your grandmother made for you? Something you’ve made yourself that really stands out? Or maybe it was something you ate at a restaurant.
For me, it’s the latter. Years ago, Mr. and I enjoyed a stellar meal at Barbuzzo in Philadelphia. Each course was better than the last, and the whole experienced culminated in a dessert that truly blew us away. I haven’t forgotten it since.
I was speechless. The flavors were just like pure heaven. Sweet and complex, rich, with a refreshing yet comforting velvet-y texture that just kept me going back for more. We ended up returning to Barbuzzo again, not long after (a rarity for us, when there are so many fabulous foodie destinations in Philly), just so that we could experience that dessert one more time.
Not long after that, I discovered that chef Turney had shared her fabulous recipe with Bon Appetit, and both the Mr. and I were thrilled. I’ve since made it several times, and it never disappoints. In this version, I’ve scaled it down, replacing the whole milk with 1% (it’s what I keep on hand, and the extra egg and butter add richness back in), and substituting crushed Oreos for the base, just because I think they’re easier to find than the Famous Wafers that the original recipe calls for. If you’re serving a larger crowd, it doubles and even triples beautifully.
There is no bad time to make this dessert. It just works, no matter the occasion. You can serve it at a dressy dinner party, or curl up on the sofa and enjoy it in your jammies. Personally, I think it’s perfect football food. It’s approachable, because it’s pudding, but the taste is bonkers, so it’ll still be sure to impress your guests.
And, it can be made ahead! I like to prepare everything but the whipped cream in advance. Keep the cookie crumbs in an airtight container at room temperature, and the pudding in the fridge. An hour or so before the guests arrive, whip the cream, layer it all in plastic cups or mason jars, and set it out on a tray. The crumbs will stay crunchy for a couple of hours, and the cleanup is minimal. 😉
You could also drizzle a little salted caramel sauce over the whole thing! That would really elevate the flavors… Check out my favorite salted caramel sauce recipe here. It’s done in less than 10 minutes and it will truly make you swoon!
As you can see, this recipe uses just the egg yolks. If you aren’t quite sure what to do with the leftover whites, here are a few ideas to get you going:
Excellent quality vanilla makes all the difference in the world, for this recipe! I love Lagrima Vanilla Extract, and here is a link to the candy thermometer I like to use for cooking custards and caramel: Candy Thermometer. It makes recipes like this one a breeze!
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Cool and creamy homemade pudding, full of the rich and buttery flavor of salted caramel, layered with crunchy chocolate cookie crumbs and fresh whipped cream. There's no wrong time for this unforgettable dessert!
- 10 Oreo cookies, crushed finely (approx. 3/4 cup crumbs)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Place the brown sugar and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 215 degrees F. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place the cornstarch in a medium pot and whisk in 1/4 cup of the milk. When there are no lumps remaining, stir in the remaining milk. Bring to a bare simmer over medium heat.
Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and whisk the hot milk in, just a little at a time, taking care not to scramble the eggs.
Stir in the slightly cooled caramel, transfer the mixture back to the pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened (about 5 minutes, or to a temperature of 175 degrees F).
Immediately remove from the heat, stir in the butter, vanilla, and salt, and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-safe vessel. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding, and chill through (2 hours to overnight).
Place a tablespoon or two of cookie crumbs in the bottom of each serving cup. Layer with chilled salted caramel pudding, and top with sweetened whipped cream.