(Butterscotch Pudding - link to recipe in post)
Today I had a dentist appointment. I just wish someone had reminded me of that before I hit the snooze button. After scrambling out of bed and driving all the way there, I stumbled into the office to find that I was not only a half hour late, but that I'd forgotten my purse.
No problem, they said, and told me to come back in a little while when they had an opening. Whew, I thought, that'll give me time to go get my purse.
Realizing that I'm a complete scatterbrain, I decided to write myself a list of what I needed to get done and in what order - that way I wouldn't be able to mess anything up. Not so fast, though... when I went to recap my sharpie, instead of putting "pen into cap" as it should be, the reality was more along the lines of "pen into thigh". Blue jeans, meet perminent marker.
Of course, I wasn't going to let a big blue dot of ink ruin my day. Or forgetting my purse, or my appointment, or anything else for that matter!
After retrieving my purse, and still having time before my newly arranged dental visit, I made the most out of the stain on my jeans, and resolved to make the most out of my day.
It's days like this you need to come home to a good dessert.
Butterscotch pudding has been on my radar for awhile, now - pretty much ever since that episode of South Park, 'Royal Pudding'. I've thought about it, talked about it, and recently have even been buying it from Zingerman's Roadhouse. If you don't know what Zingerman's is, clearly you're not from around here... or anywhere near here... or this country. They're local to Ann Arbor, but they're widely known not only for their high quality food and knowledgeable staff, but also for their exceptionally successful business model. They host both culinary and business classes, and are pretty revered in both areas.
If you're jealous not to live around the corner from them like I do, you should be. But not too jealous - they do ship nationwide.
Back to the butterscotch - the stuff from the Roadhouse is great, but a little on the pricier side, and since the idea has been floating around in my mind so long I figured it was time I went ahead and made it myself. As it turns out, it's crazy simple.
After looking at a few different recipes, I found David Lebovitz's - viola, my searching had come to an end. Basically the king of desserts (not to mention the voice of authority on everything ice cream), I had no doubt his butterscotch pudding would be fantastic.
I followed the recipe from his book Ripe for Dessert almost exactly, so I won't go reprinting it here.
You can, however, find the recipe on his blog, in all it's glory: davidlebovitz.com
I was surprised at what a simple concoction this tasty stuff really is. Its primary composition is butter and brown sugar, resulting in a semblance of caramel, only with an indefinable edge to it. The rest is milk, eggs, vanilla, and corn starch. Chances are, you already have all the ingredients you need!
It's often thought that butterscotch is 'traditionally' made with butter and, well, scotch - this is not the case. According to wikipedia, there isn't any conclusive evidence as to its name, though the explanation I like the most is that it comes from butter scorched. That indefinable something might just be that the butter browns, or scorches slightly, in the pan while the pudding is thickening.
Whatever the case, adding a touch of scotch or bourbon is by no means off-limits. The flavors marry so nicely it's like a match made in heaven... or so I'm told. My liquor cabinet may be lacking, slightly, so for now I kept things plain and simple. No scotch, no whipped cream, not even a dusting of chocolate - just straight up deliciousness. As is tradition. Utensil of choice: finger.
I strongly encourage you to make some for yourself. If you've never had true butterscotch, you're missing out on something amazing.
Check out David Lebovitz's blog for the recipe: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/02/a-butterscotch/