Grandma’s Caramel Pudding

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A Grandma is warm hugs and sweet memories. She remembers all of your accomplishments and forgets all of your mistakes. – Barbara Cage 

Today I was thinking of my Grandma and her delicious Caramel Pudding and decided to give it a try again. I’ve almost given up hope that I’ll ever get it like hers. She was the pro of smooth caramel pudding! It brings back all sorts of nostalgic feelings and memories of family gatherings in her basement. She was a good cook and we feasted. 

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Grandma was one of the most competent housekeepers I know. A hard worker, keeping the yard trimmed to perfection and her flower gardens looked like they belonged in a magazine. Her house was always sparkling clean and a sign stating “wipe your feet, honey child!” reminded us as kids to take our shoes off at the door.

She made Christmas extra special with beautifully wrapped presents for each of us and her famous caramel pudding. I always felt loved by her and I’ll never forget how hot she made her dishwater! =) She always laughed that I couldn’t keep my hands in her water for more than a second.

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Every year at my Grandpa’s auction, we would work side by side serving barbecue sandwiches and other goodies to hundreds of hungry farmers. She supported her husband’s business by baking pies and working for weeks to gather all the food for the auction. It was always a fun day and at the end, she’d slip me some cash and thank me for all of my hard work. It felt good to know that she was proud of us.

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She raised some might fine daughters and passed on so many virtues and life skills.

I remember the day we received the shocking news that a heart attack took her life. It seemed way too soon.

She never did get to see that I married the one guy she teased me about! =) We were young at the time, but Stan worked on the crew that built a deck behind her house and I remember her teasing me about him… I laughed and told her, “Grandma! You don’t know near all the guys I know!” =) I must say that she had good tastes or maybe really good intuition! =)

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I won’t promise you success on your first time trying this recipe because I’ve already made it twice this week, trying to get it right. I learned that the key is in browning the butter and brown sugar.

Make sure you brown it enough or it will be very light in color and you won’t have that distinct caramel flavor, it will be more like vanilla pudding. But on the other hand, you do not want to burn the brown sugar! It will still melt fine when the milk heats up but you’ll have a burnt after taste in your mouth. 

So watch it carefully and go by your best instincts. Grandma got it perfect every time but I’m still perfecting it myself.

Grandma's Caramel Pudding

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 25 min+5 hr chill time
  • Difficulty: moderately hard
  • Print

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 heaping cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (3/4 for thick pudding)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and brown, stirring constantly.
  • Add 6 cups milk. Whisk and heat until lukewarm and sugar is dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, in blender, beat flour, 1/2 cup milk, and egg yolks until smooth.
  • Add to hot milk, stirring constantly. Turn heat to medium-high and whisk constantly until getting thick. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled. It will continue to thicken as it sets.
  • Just before serving, top with whipped cream and garnish with chopped Heath Bars.

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3 thoughts on “Grandma’s Caramel Pudding

  1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Joy! Grandma was an amazing person; i always enjoyed her “zesty” outlook on life. She sure didn’t miss much, 🙂

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  2. I enjoyed the stories about your grandma and gave the pudding a try. I think I got more of the vanilla version because i was not bold enough during the caramelization, but it was smooth and delicious with rhubarb cake for Sunday dessert. Oh, and I added a bit of salt because… Salted caramel and I have a love affair going on.

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