We have a walnut tree in the backyard that produces a crazy amount of walnuts. So, I have been using them in so many different recipes. This crust recipe comes from my Grandma. It's the base to one of my family's favorite desserts (some day I'll share it with you), but today, I thought it would pair nicely with some homemade butterscotch pudding.
Homemade butterscotch pudding is a little different than making a box of butterscotch pudding. It's not as vibrant in color and the flavor is a little more mild. BUT, homemade butterscotch pudding is really delicious. It tastes like homemade vanilla caramel in pudding form. The texture is silky smooth and the walnut crust is the perfect base. The crust does not have any sugar in it and it doesn't need any, because the pudding is sweet enough. Try these bars topped with whipped cream and chopped walnuts . . . yummy!
P.S. If you have any good recipes that use walnuts, send them my way.
Butterscotch Pudding Pie Bars
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. (8 Tbl.) cold unsalted butter
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. + 2 Tbl. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 c. milk (I used 1%)
4 large egg yolks
2 Tbl. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
whipped cream, opt.
chopped walnuts, opt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the Crust: Add the flour to a medium bowl. Cut the cold butter into the flour until it's the size of peas or smaller. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan and press evenly until it covers the bottom of the pan. It will be very crumbly, but it bakes up perfectly. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
For the Pudding Layer: Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt to a medium saucepan and whisk together until well combined and no lumps of cornstarch remain. Whisk together milk and egg yolks and gradually whisk into brown sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble, stirring frequently. Cook and stir another few minutes or until the mixture has thickened (it's thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and if you run your finger through it, the line remains and doesn't run back together).
Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until the butter has melted. Mixture should be very smooth and creamy. Pour over cooled crust and spread out evenly. Cover and refrigerate until mixture is completely chilled, at least two hours. Slice and serve with whipped cream and chopped walnuts, if desired. Serves: 12-15.