Better-than-classic Butterscotch Pudding
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
8 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whisk together the milk and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cook, whisking frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and bubbling. Slowly and carefully pour in the milk mixture-it will sputter and first-whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is hot and there are not lumps of sugar left. Remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk together the egg yolks and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a boil and large bubbles rise to the surface.
Immediately pour the mixture through a fine strainer set over a medium glass measure or bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice and vanilla. Let cool for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally to keep a skin form forming.
Divide the pudding evenly among for 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of each pudding to keep a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 3 hours, until thoroughly chilled and set, or for up to 2 days before serving.