Butterscotch Custard


I had a brief visit from my mom and her boyfriend yesterday. They were in Illinois for his granddaughter’s first communion, so they spent last night with me and caught a flight out of Chicago this morning. I can’t remember the last time I saw my mom on Mother’s Day. I was probably in high school.

We had a late lunch/early dinner at The Purple Pig and then just hung out. I think we talked for eight hours straight. This morning, one of my bosses remarked on how cheerful I was. She said I looked like I had been on vacation. I told her that I saw my mom the night before, and it has a spillover effect so I’ll be cheerful for the next 48 hours or so. She laughed.

But really, my mom is my best friend. I can talk to her about anything. Last night, we talked about work, relationships and money. Before my mom’s boyfriend went to bed, he said, “Are there any other problems we can solve?”

I was like, “No, I’m good.” But then Mom and I stayed up another two hours after he went to sleep.

I showed her an article I wrote about her that was published today in my friend’s magazine.

The only bad thing was that I made her a special dessert, a butterscotch custard slightly adapted from the New York Times, and it didn’t turn out. The first time I made it, it was perfect. This time, the fat floated to the top of the custard and formed a little crust that I found disgusting. Mom and her boyfriend were nice and said it was wonderful, but they had to have been lying.

Anyway, here is the recipe. I am going to have to make it again and see if it works right. The first time I made it at G.’s house, and the oven there is much better, although I wouldn’t think that would matter that much. I must have done something wrong this time around.

Butterscotch Custard

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
87 grams dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Scotch
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 whole cloves

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until melted and smooth. Stir in cream, milk, Scotch, vanilla and salt. Plop in the cloves. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often.

In a bowl, whisk the yolks. Whisking constantly, pour in the hot cream mixture in a steady stream until incorporated. Let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. This will remove the cloves.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Divide the custard among four ramekins. Place them in a baking dish, and fill the dish with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are set but jiggle slightly when nudged, 35 to 50 minutes.

Cool to room temperature, then chill in refrigerator until firm.

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One response to “Butterscotch Custard

  1. I’m glad you saw your mom yesterday! And I’m guessing the custard was awesome. We are always our worst critic! Wish I could’ve tried it!

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