Have you ever gone out of time and gotten something at a restaurant that was so good that you were always wistfully thinking about it? Constantly wondering if either a: someone in your home town would serve that dish or b: if you had the chops to make it happen in your own kitchen? Of course you have, and so have I.
A couple of years ago, I went down to Dallas to visit my younger brother, and he took us out to one of his favorite places, Neighborhood Services, which was not only really cool and delicious, but also was the place that left a dish imprinted in K’s and my mind. The butterscotch pots de creme. K went and got it again the last time she was in Dallas, and it did the same thing all over again. Just like Ron Burgandy would say, “Scotchy, scotch, scotch,” we do love butterscotch.
Fast forward to the other day, I bucked up and decided to make it happen in good ol’ Midtown, USA. It was a seriously hands-on process, so I didn’t get any action shots, but here is the glorious result.
It came out intense, rich, and delicious. You only need a little bit, because this stuff really throws its weight around. Watch out!
Here’s the recipe:
6 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Scotch whisky
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mace.Method:
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
1. In a large heatproof bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, milk, and brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and keep warm.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook without stirring until the mixture becomes dark amber, swirling the pan if hot spots develop. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the Scotch whisky and 1/4 cup of the warm cream mixture, whisking until combined. Whisk in the remaining cream mixture.
4. Whisk the caramel mixture into the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and mace. String the custard through a fine strainer.
5. Ladle the custard into 6 pot de creme or 4-ounce custard cups. Place the cups in a roasting pan and carefully fill the pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up their sides. Cover the pan with foil.
6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the custards barely jiggle when shaken. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the foil. Allow the custards to cool in the water to room temperature.
7. Transfer the custards to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour.p. 234, A Southerly Course: Recipes and Stories from Close to Home by Martha Hall Foose
Give it a shot!