Baileys Butterscotch Pudding Pie + 5 Unique Pudding Pie Links

butterscotchpuddingpie-4503

She drove home from the hospital in silence, headlights of passing cars illuminating her briefly before disappearing into the night.  If she hadn’t been alone, one might have noticed the smeared mascara underneath her tired, blue eyes.  Or maybe they would have noticed her wrinkled blue scrubs, a bit of blood splatter on the right leg from a man, or rather, a boy she attempted to save just hours before.

[“Please don’t let me die!” He pleaded while grabbing her shirt, yanking her stethoscope.  She, now, a metaphysical lifeline to a boy nearly gone.  When his grip on her softened, she removed his hand from her shirtsleeve and placed it across his heart.  Stupid kid, she thought.  Look what you have done.  No, she wasn’t cold, but removed.  After all, how could one carry the pain of so many? Damn near impossible.  She had tried.]

The headlights of her station wagon grazed the moonlit snow as pulled into the driveway of her picturesque, yet, modest colonial standing dark and peaceful at midnight.

[Tonight the kids would be asleep.  And her husband?  Passed out in their loveless bed, entangled in the sheets, snoring, farting, reeking of beer.  At least he was in bed.  A welcome change, really, to the nights when he chose to pass out on the living room floor among the toys that were never picked up and the dog hair that blew around the matted carpet like tumbleweeds.]

She sat in her car inside their cluttered garage (bikes, broken toys, Costco bags of toilet paper and paper towels, trash cans permeating the bitter night air) and thought briefly about not going inside.  Is that really an option?  Of course not.

The house-keys slid easily into the lock, reminding her she was home.  She placed her jacket on the overcrowded coat hat rack, someday I’ll organize this, and walked into the kitchen.  Dirty dishes were piled high in the sink, dried ketchup smears decorated their kitchen island, beer cans acted as cairns, marking where his latest, desperate internal battle took place. 

[She sighed.  12:15 AM .  Instead of tackling the mess in the kitchen and the one sleeping in her bed, she would have a drink, ring in the new year with a cold glass of Baileys. ]

The family dog slept curled up against the over-stuffed, milk stained Lazy Boy chair.  She lowered herself into the chair, careful not to wake the dog or spill her drink.  [Did it matter?]  She muted the TV , watched the lovers and strangers in Times Square kiss, desirous for an imagined fresh start.  She understood that craving.

The blue glow from the TV lit her scrubs just enough for the blood splatter to reappear. She rubbed a single finger across it.  The blood soaked in and dry now.  [For a moment she thought of licking  her finger.  A single lick of his blood: water, salt, red and white blood cells, microscopic bits of him dissolving on her tongue and living for as long as she lived.]  She held the glass to her mouth, let the ice cubes hit her lips and took a long sip of the creamy, sweet Baileys.  This year she would save the only life she could save: her own.

butterscotchpuddingpie-4515

Baileys Butterscotch Pudding Pie

pudding recipe adapted from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen

chocolate wafer crust adapted from Williams Sonoma

Serves 6

Ingredients for Pudding:

5 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup of water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups of milk (not fat-free)

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2-3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Crème

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

whipped cream for topping (optional)

chocolate shavings or crushed chocolate wafer cookies for topping (optional)

Directions:

Grab a medium bowl and whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch until well combined.  Set aside.

Add the brown sugar, salt, and water to a medium saucepan placing the pan over medium-low heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves and begins to bubble.

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the mixture becomes thick and dark, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the milk and heavy cream.  (Be careful! It will bubble.)  Whisk until all butterscotch bits at the bottom of the pan dissolve.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.  Do not step away, the mixture could boil over!  Once it reaches a rapid boil, decrease the heat and slowly pour half of the butterscotch mixture to the egg yolks, whisking well to combine.  Now add the custard to the remaining half of the butterscotch mixture.

Whisk over medium heat until the custards just begins to gently boil and coats the back of your spoon, about 3 minutes. ( The custard is ready when it coats the back of spoon.  To be sure, draw your finger across the back of the spoon.  Your finger should leave a mark through the custard and not run back together.)  Remove from the heat.  Add butter, Baileys and vanilla.  Stir until butter is completely melted and the custard is smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve.  Pour custard into a bowl and chill, uncovered, until very cold and pudding like, about 4 hours.   I chilled it overnight.  Transfer to air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

The pudding can be made two days ahead.

Chocolate Wafer Crust

Ingredients:

1 + 1/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Place chocolate wafer cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until they resemble crumbs.

Stir together cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a bowl until the crumbs are moist.  Pat mixture firmly and evenly into a 9 inch pie pan.  Be sure to cover both the bottom and sides of the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool completely before filling.

Crust will last, unfilled, for several days well covered and at room temperature.

Assembly!

Add pudding to pie crust, filling it to the top.  (You will have leftover pudding.)  Top with fresh whipped cream, shaved chocolate and/or cookie crumbs.  Chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

**Add the pudding to the crust no more than a day before serving it.  The crust will start to get soggy after a couple of days**

5 Unique Pudding Pie Links

Looking for a unexpected spice in your life?  Head to A Cozy Kitchen and make green chili chocolate pudding pie.  Sounds weird but I bet it is delicious.  Embrace the weird.

Vegans rejoice! Ambitious Kitchen has a recipe for vegan chocolate avocado pie that sounds amazing!

A fudgey layer of chocolate pudding covers a sweet chocolate cookie crust and is topped with a light and airy vanilla pudding.  Intrigued? Want the recipe?  Head to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the recipe.

Butterscotch pudding meets cheesecake and makes this amazing pie by Bake or Break. Check it out!

Dreaming of peach season in January?  Check out my peach ricotta pudding cream pie recipe.  Swap out the fresh peaches for frozen and you’ll have a bit of summer in January.

Cold Oven Strawberry Pound Cake + 5 Can’t Miss Pound Cake Links

 

This cake tastes like love Mama!  I think I know what you mean sweet girl, although its been awhile since I tasted love.  Lucky you.  Your first taste, something you will chase and I’m pretty sure find again.

I remember the first time I tasted love.  A hot dog encased in a buttery, toasted bun.  Papa made it for me.  [Do you remember him?  It’s OK.  You were so small, months from your fourth birthday.  You sat next to him on his hospital bed, old westerns playing on TV, though no one was watching. So brave of you!  He didn’t look like himself: pale, listless. Blue, really.  His hands looked like wax; incoherent with morphine.  I’m glad you don’t remember.]

Just shy of 8, on a humid summer day I spent the morning swimming in my grandparent’s pool, like most summer mornings many decades ago; only slightly tired after hours of play, but always famished.

[Can you picture me love?  Full of energy?  Playful?  Try. We are, we will be, more similar than you hope.]

I walked into the kitchen, a towel clumsily wrapped around me, a puddle of water forming around my feet.  Papa stood at the counter, khaki pants, navy t-shirt, sweat puddling above his giant, caterpillar eyebrows.  Eating, barely chewing a hot dog and taking long swigs of a cold Budweiser in between each colossal bite.  He smelled like gas and grass clippings.  [Some days I smell both.  Inhale deeply.  Think of him and feel nothing but gratitude.  A familiar smell may do the same to you someday.  Enjoy it, be thankful for it.]

Hungry? How about a hot dog Kel-bel?” [I wore hunger in my eyes just like you.]  I settled at their small, wooden kitchen table, still in my bathing suit and watched as he got to work. He placed a large dollop of butter into an old, greasy Teflon frying pan.  While the butter melted, he made 3 small slices in the hot dog and grabbed a bun.  Carefully he placed both in the pan while the butter crackled and danced around them.

[The smell of butter still comforting to me.  What will comfort you, goose?]

Minutes later the hot dog was ready, plated and decorated with a long, squiggly strip of ketchup.  I devoured it.  As I drank a glass of cold milk, I heard the the sizzle and sputter of butter in the frying pan, the smell of another hot dog frying to golden perfection.  Smart man.

[That’s the thing with love my one and only girl; once you taste it, you have a hankering for it.  Feast on it. Chase it. And, if you are very lucky, you will find love many times over.]

Cold-Oven Strawberry Pound Cake

A moist pound cake baked with fresh strawberry puree and topped with a slightly sweet strawberry icing

recipe adapted from Food 52 Baking

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened and cubed

1/2 solid shortening

3 cups of sugar

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup  low-fat milk

3 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 cup fresh, pureed strawberries

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Butter (really butter) and flour your Bundt pan and set aside.

Measure out your flour and add a teaspoon of salt.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

Hull and slice strawberries and puree in a blender.  You will need about 1 cup of pureed strawberries.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter, shortening and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat until well combined.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then continue beating for another minute.

Add the vanilla to the cup of milk and then pour about 1/3 of the milk into the sugar mix.  Next, add a cup of flour and beat until just incorporated.  Repeat the process two more times: milk then the flour, beating until just combined each time.  Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan.  Pour 2/3 cup of pureed strawberries over the batter and swirl gently with a butter knife.  Add the remaining batter and smooth the top with a spatula.  Place Bundt pan in cold oven.  Turn the oven on to 300F and bake for 45 minutes.  Increase the temperature to 325F and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes.  The cake is ready when it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a serving plate.

Using a small bowl add 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of the remaining strawberry puree.  Stir until smooth.  If the icing is too thick, add a little more of the puree until you achieve the consistency you desire.  Drizzle over the cake.  Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

**The cake will last stored in an air-tight container, at room temperature, for several days.**

 5 Can’t Miss Pound Cake Links!

Cherry season is here so why not throw some into a buttery marzipan covered pound cake? Check out 1 Big Bite’s cherry and marzipan pound cake recipe.

Looking for a low-fat pound cake recipe? Bakers Royale has a recipe for you.

Summer berries are abundant now and perfect in a pound cake.  Head to Orangette for a raspberry-blueberry pound cake that sounds divine!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Coconut Key Lime Pound Cake.  Yes it exists.  Head to Baker by Nature for the recipe.

Lottie + Doof’s  salted caramel pound cake is on my must make list.  I’m drooling.