*If you are just looking for how to make Butterscotch, I have a step by step post here.*
I found a recipe in the Gourmet November 2006 issue for Brown Sugar Pudding. But I decided to change it into a better person and make it butterscotch. It's perfect timing because, as I write this, I am hoping Food & Wine considers a letter I sent them about this very special flavor. Taste Memory.
here's a little excerpt:
"As a pastry chef and an avid reader of your magazine, I found it appalling that you chose to feature a recipe using artificial flavors as a main ingredient. “Rich and Creamy Butterscotch Pudding” (Food & Wine, January 2007). You say _________ uses butterscotch chips to “simplify the recipe,” but nothing could be simpler than cooking brown sugar and butter. And wouldn’t it be better to pass on the recipe and method to your readers for real butterscotch?
As a leading food magazine for and about professionals, and those more than a little interested in food and where it comes from, I hope more fact checking is done to insure readers do not come away with misinformation. And this ending sentence, “The result is so flavorful, even purists won’t complain.” ? I will speak up for more than myself when I say artificial is not a flavor I wish to educate my diners with. "
It's terrifically annoying to see the spread of artificial flavors replacing natural/actual ones. Our taste buds need re-invigoration, not to be dumbed-down some more!
And, for god's sake pastry chefs, BUTTERSCOTCH IS NOT THAT HARD TO MAKE!
OK, enough with the rant.
Heavy Cream, not ultra-pasteurized 3/4 C
Whole Milk 1 1/4 C
(Or 2 C Half & Half)
Dark Brown Sugar 5 oz.
Unsalted Butter 1.5 oz.
Cornstarch 2 Tablespoons
Sugar 1 Tablespoon
Large Egg Yolks 2 each
Large Egg 1 each
Kosher Salt pinch, or to taste
Vanilla Extract splash, or to taste
*In a heavy bottomed stainless steel sauce pan melt butter over low heat and add brown sugar. With a wooden spoon stir in well to incorporate. Cook for at least 10 minutes, stirring infrequently. Add salt.
*Meanwhile combine dairy and warm up, but do not let boil.
*Whisk egg and yolks together in mid sized bowl.
*Sift cornstarch and sugar into another mid sized bowl. If it looks like you lost some cornstarch in the process, add a little more. Cornstarch absorbs moisture and loves to stick to everything! Whisk to combine these and make a "well" in the center.
*When brown sugar/butter has been on the stove for a bit, add dairy and whisk to smooth out. When this mixture is hot to the touch, shut off heat.
OK. Now you are making a liaison. You need to get the eggs and cornstarch into the mixture, but evenly and delicately. The Instruction I am about to give is the best way to make any stove-top pudding, the most popular being pastry cream.
*Using a ladle, lift a small amount (betw 2-4 oz) of the hot liquid and pour it directly in the middle of the cornstarch "well." Using a small whisk, whisk this mixture in tight concentric circles from the middle out. You want a smooth, loose paste. If you have not put in enough, or put in too much liquid you will get clumps. When you have your unlumpy mixture, ladle in a little more liquid and do the same again.
*Now ladle, while whisking, some liquid into the beaten egg bowl. This step is not nearly as delicate a matter as the previous step. Again, you want to warm up the egg mixture, turning the bowl into warm-hot eggy liquid.
*Whisk eggy liquid into cornstarchy liquid. Incorporate as much as possible. Pour this into the pot. Whisk to incorporate. If you notice a lot of any kind of lump, pass this mixture through a fine meshed sieve.
*Put pot back on stove over medium heat. Whisk continuously and violently. Try to whisk at all sorts of angles so that the whisk bottom makes it into the "corners" of the pot. If you are not breaking a sweat or getting sore, you may not be whisking hard enough.
Pain = Pleasure
*Whisk until custard thickens and "comes to boil." I put this in quotes because once custard gets thick, these bubbles are hard to see. When it starts to get thick, stop to see if bubbles are rising to the surface.
*Take off heat and add in vanilla extract. Taste. Does it taste like butterscotch? Does it need more vanilla extract? Salt? Not sure & don't want to ruin the whole batch finding out? Take a small amount out, put in a bowl and experiment on that.
Spoon into bowls. Chill, and unless you like custard skin, press plastic wrap right to the surface. Of course you can always eat it warm too. MMMmmmmmmmmm.
I like to garnish my butterscotch pudding with toasted pecans. But many things would be complementary. Coconut cream is nice, a la Claudia Fleming. Or praline. Whipped cream, for the added opulence, or straight out of the pot like you know you want to!
**All of the photos in this post, except the first one, were taken by Sam Breach of Becks and Posh. They were taken at her house whilst I taught a custards class.
Just two days left on donating and bidding for prizes at Menu for Hope III! Have you seen all the added new prizes? $10 is a very small bid to start out with when most of these prizes are worth well over $100! Show the UN, and all the people for whom food is merely sustenance, that we have an incredible community here, on the www. Final bids will be taken on December 22: that's only 2 days away!!!
Look at all the prizes by geographical area by clicking through the host blog's links:
US West Coast: Becks and Posh
US East Coast: The Amateur Gourmet
US (the rest): Kalyn's Kitchen
Canada: Cardamom Addict
Europe and UK: Davidlebovitz.com
Latin America: The Cooking Diva
Asia Pacific/Australia/New Zealand: Grab Your Fork
Thank you for making this year's Menu for Hope goal and exceeding it by more than double our original hoped for figure!