I’ve never been much of a fan of butterscotch puddings. I don’t know why – I like butter, I love scotch. Together, not so much.
That was until I tasted Donna Scala’s Top Shelf Butterscotch Pudding. Scala, of course, is the creative genius behind La Luce, the fun Italian restaurant at Hilton Bonnet Creek, next door to the Waldorf Astoria. In fact, the full name of the restaurant is La Luce by Donna Scala, as though it were a special edition. As far as I’m concerned, this pudding is indeed a special edition. The secret, Scala told me, is that she uses Macallen Scotch, which just happens to be my favorite. It’s also very pricy, and ordinarily I wouldn’t advocate enjoying it any other way except neat. (I once ordered a glass of the 25 year old Macallan after a fine steak dinner at Smith & Wollensky in South Beach. The scotch cost almost as much as the steak. I was horrified when the waiter brought it on the rocks. My God, I said, ice melts! He took it away and returned it after pouring it into a new glass without the ice — un-uh, I said; new pour. That’s how much I like Macallan.) Anyway, if Macallan can be turned into something as wonderful as this pudding, I’m willing to bend my rules. But for God’s sake, don’t serve it on ice.
Top Shelf Butterscotch Pudding
1 cup milk
3 qts. cream
1 1/2 lb. dark moscovado sugar
1/4 lb. light brown sugar
5 oz. Vanilla
1/2 cup 12 year old Scotch
2.5 oz. Cornstarch
3/4 tsp. Salt
18 egg yolks
9 oz. butter
Combine milk and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth.
Add egg yolks, combine until smooth.
Heat cream, vanilla and sugar. Let mixture rise to a boil then lower heat to a simmer for about ten minutes, whisk in the egg mixture, stirring constantly until it holds a dimple. Stir in the scotch a minute or two before the custard is ready As soon as this happens, strain and blend until smooth with the butter.
Pour into container and cover with plastic wrap.