Butterscotch usually starts with brown sugar. This version goes rogue and starts with apple cider instead. Just boil it – then keep boiling it—until you reach the consistency of caramel sauce. From there, you’re on your way to a puckery, appley pudding.



  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Pour the cider into a large saucepan and set over medium heat to bring to a boil. Boil for 1 to 2 hours, rotating the pan and lowering the heat as needed to prevent any burning along the sides, until the mixture reduces to 1 cup. (No need to hover, just check in every 20 to 30 minutes.)
  • When the cider butterscotch is almost ready, combine the cornstarch, egg yolks, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Use a fork or small whisk to stir until smooth (it will be very thick).
  • When the cider butterscotch is ready (do measure it to make sure you have the right amount), pour a tiny splash into the cornstarch–egg yolk mixture. Whisk to combine. Pour another tiny splash and whisk again. Keep doing this (adding progressively bigger splashes) until all the cider butterscotch has been added. Now slowly whisk in the half-and-half and vanilla.
  • Pour this whole mixture back into the saucepan and set it back on the heat, this time over medium to medium-low. Bring to a slow-gurgly boil, whisking slowly but constantly, then let it boil for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl to get rid of any chunky bits and bobs. Now transfer the pudding to individual dishes or glasses, if that’s how you’d like to serve it. Cover the top of the pudding with plastic film to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the fridge until completely cold.