It's a new year, I've had my birthday, and maybe I should prove that I haven't actually abandoned this blog? So, how about a recipe, though not a particularly seasonal one, given the heavy frost and heaved ground here, alternating with grey clouds and sleety rain.
Last summer I found a Donvier ice-cream maker on usedvictoria.com, where I have also found lots of fitness equipment, bookshelves, and other useful things. It came with a nice little recipe book, and soon I was using up frozen blackberries and blueberries from the summer before, squeezing oranges and limes, and generally filling up the freezer.
I'd made buttermilk scones, and had buttermilk left over (which I can't drink, because of the texture). Hmm, wouldn't buttermilk and butterscotch go nicely together, I thought. I bet the slight acidity of the buttermilk would balance the sweetness of the butterscotch. Let's fire up the internet and find a recipe.
Some Time Later....
I have found buttermilk ice cream recipes.
I have found butterscotch ice cream recipes.
I have found buttermilk-butterscotch sauce for ice cream.
I have found not one recipe for buttermilk-butterscotch ice cream.
Why? Would it actually taste really bad? I can't believe that. I decided to be a pioneer and make the experiment.
So, examine several buttermilk ice cream recipes, then several butterscotch ice cream recipes. Figure out which were the necessary steps, and combine them. Ice cream, fortunately, is a pretty forgiving medium. Eggs, no eggs, cream, milk, or yogurt, fruit puree, juice or whole, you generally end up with something people will eat straight out of the ice cream maker as soon as it solidifies.
This is what I came up with:
In a medium saucepan, put
1 cup brown sugar (demerara might be good too)
2 tbsp butter (real butter here, not margarine).
Simmer until the brown sugar is melted and bubbling - stir occasionally. (This is the butterscotch part.)
In the meantime, in a mixing bowl, whisk
3 egg yolks (you can use more, but I'm stingy with eggs)
1/4 cup brown sugar.
Add slowly to the saucepan
1/2 cup cream (or light cream or milk)
1 tsp vanilla (or more if you like vanilla a lot).
Stir and continue heating until any little crunchy bits of brown sugar have melted back in (though they might be nice little crunches in the ice cream, so it's up to you).
Take 2 cups buttermilk,
Pour 1/2 cup into the mixing bowl and whisk up.
Pour remainder, a little at a time, into the saucepan and mix well.
(You can try putting all the buttermilk into the saucepan instead - I wanted to dilute the yolks and avoid them cooking into lumps in the next step.)
Slowly pour the saucepan contents into the mixing bowl, whisking as you go. If you put all the buttermilk into the saucepan, apparently it helps if you pour the hot mixture along the sides of the mixing bowl rather than right into the middle. I haven't tried it.)
When it's all mixed up nicely, you can either take it straight to the fridge, or pour the lot back into the saucepan and cook it down further. I've done both, and the only difference I noticed was a darkening of the colour (but I did not do a scientific taste comparison).
Cool overnight in the fridge, covered.
Put mix into your ice cream maker and proceed as directed by your instruction manual.
And I was right. The tangy buttermilk balances the sweet toasty butterscotch very nicely. It is particularly good with a hot apple crumble. Or an apple-quince crumble as below.