R10_0016                                                                                                        photo by DT Ruhlman

There have been a spate of butterscotch posts recently and it’s a subject I’m delighted to see addressed.  Butterscotch is emblematic of how mass produced and processed versions of real food threaten to obliterate the food that’s true and valuable and delicious.

Make your own butterscotch.  Elise has a recipe here. It’s from Shuna and she answers questions here at eggbeater.  Smitten Kitchen has a recipe for butterscotch ice cream.  David Lebovitz recently did a butterscotch pudding, but even more valuable, he gives a caramel tutorial here.

Butterscotch sause is easy, should take no more than fifteen minutes and keeps for ages in the fridge.  But more important, it’s so good.  Just over ice cream.  Or bananas.  Or French toast (now you have an excuse to have butterscotch sauce for breakfast).  A banana split.  When I taste it, I get the sense that I’m remembering something I didn’t know I knew.

Butterscotch gets its flavor from brown sugar and from the butter (the complex nuttiness of the wonderful transformation of butter solids in heat) as well as vanilla.  Shuna argues that salt is the final critical seasoning element, suggests adding it, and tasting, adding and tasting till you’ve got it just right.  Caramels and salt are an exciting combo, and this is a reminder of that.  I like to include a good dose of acid in the form of apple cider vinegar to sharpen all that sweetness.  I read in one of these posts that this was a custom in New England.  Could there be regional variations on the butterscotch?

Read David’s caramel lesson. Remember that sugar is incredibly hot and causes some of the worst cooking burns there are. Use a big pot and any time you add a liquid such as cream bubbling liquified sugar, be careful because it really foams up.  But again making your own butterscotch sauce is so easy you’ll wonder why anyone would bother to buy jarred sauce.