Butterscotch Pudding with Salted Pecans

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup packed dark brown 

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 1/2 cups whole milk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons bourbon (optional)*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Melt the butter in a medium heavy bottomed pan. when melted, stir in the dark brown sugar and salt, stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from heat.

 In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with  1/4 cup of the milk until very smooth, then whisk in the eggs.

Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture.

Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking until the pudding thickens up. If the pudding seems to have a curdled look, don't freak out! Blend the pudding in batches in a blender or pass it through a medium mesh sieve and it'll be fine. I almost always put puddings and curds through a sieve just to get out any little egg-y pieces that may be in them.

Pour the pudding into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving. Just before serving, top with sweetened whipped cream and some of the salted buttered pecans.

Salted Buttered Pecans

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 teaspoon course sea salt

Melt the butter in a small pan. Stir in the pecans cooking for about 2 minutes until the pecans are evenly coated with the butter. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the sea salt over the pecans.