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Butterscotch Pudding from The Lark Creek Inn

November 15, 2017

 Butterscotch Pudding

Butterscotch Pudding

Butterscotch Pudding

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and when it comes to dessert the obvious choice is pumpkin pie. But what if you or your guests are not huge fans of the traditional offering?

For years my family dined at The Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, CA. When it was announced that they were transitioning to a more casual dining scene during the recession I panicked. Why? Because whenever we dined there we would consider dessert before ordering our main course. All because of the Butterscotch Pudding. Concerned that the revamped restaurant might change its dessert menu I took a chance and asked for the recipe. Low and behold they gave it to me.

This butterscotch pudding complements the Thanksgiving table; something without pumpkin spice but with all of the fall feels. It’s everything you would want in a holiday dessert; a velvety consistency, not too sweet and a beautiful hue of pale gold fitting with the season. And the great part about this decadent, creamy pudding is that it can be made ahead of time, adding freshly whipped cream at service.

The beauty of this recipe it that it uses butterscotch chips rather than having to make butterscotch from scratch. Using seeds from a vanilla bean may seem exotic but the flavor it adds to this pudding is key. Yes, vanilla beans are more costly than simply using vanilla extract but this is a holiday dessert after all and you deserves the best!

Ingredients

Ingredients for Butterscotch Pudding

To extract the vanilla bean seeds, simply lay a pod on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife cut down the middle of the pod from top to bottom. Fold the halves open. Begin at one end of the pod and lightly scrape the knife’s edge down along the inside of the pod, lifting the seeds from the pod.

vanilla bean seeds

Seeds from a vanilla bean

Quality is key!

This recipe calls for  just 8 ingredients so now is not the time to compromise on quality. I used locally produced heavy whipping cream, farmers’ market eggs and Guittard butterscotch chips, shop your local farmers’ market and stores for the best available ingredients in your area.  I guarantee this pudding will shine on your holiday table.

Just before serving, add a dollop of whipped cream. If you’re looking for a bit more dazzle, then a drizzle of homemade or store-bought caramel sauce, a dusting of ground cinnamon or chocolate shavings would dress it up.

If you’re looking for a last-minute appetizer for Turkey Day try this cranberry apple salsa!

Happy Holidays!

 

Butterscotch Pudding from The Lark Creek Inn

Yield: 8-10 depending on size of ramekin

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 quarts heavy whipping cream (preferably organic) plus 1/2 ounce heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 12 ounces butterscotch chips (I use Guittard)
  • 10 egg yolks, large
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 ounce Scotch
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Put 1 3/4 quarts of heavy cream and butterscotch chips into a large saucepan (I recommend using a pan about three times the volume of this mixture). Split open vanilla bean in half and scrape the inside of the bean from top to bottom, add the seeds to the cream. Bring all to a boil, turn off heat and set aside.(I recommend staying close to this mixture, it will take a while to heat up but once it does it comes to a boil very quickly).
  3. Place the egg yolks into a large bowl. Slowly add the above mixture only a few drops at a time in the beginning which tempers the egg yolk and avoids scrambling the eggs. Then proceed with a steady stream. Set aside
  4. Fill a kettle with water, place on stove and bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer.
  5. Mix the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan, place over low heat and let mixture caramelize stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Watching carefully so as not to burn. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the scotch and remaining 1/2 ounce heavy cream. Return to heat and stir until all is melted, thickened and darkened in color about 1 minute. Pour this into the cream and egg based mixture. Add salt and stir until dissolved.
  6. Using a mesh strainer, strain mixture into ovenproof ramekins (I found it easier to pour this mixture into a container with a spout, like a pyrex, and then into the ramekins). Depending on what size ramekins you use (I tested many and found that a wide and shallow dish similar to one that is typically used for creme brûlée, 8 ounces, is best) will determine how many will fit into a 9" X 13" baking pan (in this case it was 3, you can place two pans side by side in the oven to cook 6 at a time). They can be snug but with space around the surface of each ramekin. Place in oven but before closing door add the heated water into the pan making sure not to get any into the puddings. Fill until water reaches halfway up the ramekins. Bake at 250 degrees until puddings set. This should take about 60 minutes depending on size of ramekin. To test, if pudding jiggles just slightly but mostly firm, it's done. Using a hot mitt and spatula, remove ramekins from water bath onto a cooling rack. When cool, place in refrigerator until set, at least four hours or overnight. When serving, garnish with whipped cream.
http://gatherweekly.com/butterscotch-pudding/

 

 

 

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Home Lifestyle Recipes

Cranberry Apple Salsa

November 23, 2016

Cranberry Apple Salsa is a blast from my past. While browsing through a box of recipe cards (yes, recipe cards!) from my Mother I came across a few of my own from the 80’s. Food trends come and go—Matcha, acaí bowls and avocado toast are currently popular—and the 80’s were no exception. Quiche, blackened anything and spinach dip were all the rage as was salsa. Salsa became a staple, it gained in popularity as chefs tweaked and played with flavors. Tropical salsas, (hello Wolfgang Puck!) typically paired with the blackened fish, were de rigueur. I don’t remember where I found this recipe, but I made it often. Feeling nostalgic this holiday season, I thought I would revisit and add a few ingredients to bump up the flavor.

cranberry apple salsa

cranberry apple salsa

This salsa can be made ahead of time and is easy to prepare with basic ingredients. If you’re looking for an easy last-minute appetizer or a fresh condiment perk up your leftover turkey sandwich this is for you. Our tradition for lunch on Thanksgiving is heavy appetizers spread out mid-day for all to enjoy whenever hunger hits. A bowl filled with Cranberry Apple Salsa and a platter piled high with homemade persimmon chips and root vegetable chips such as these from Terra Chips   is light and refreshing.

Additionally, you can mix the salsa with cream cheese for a zippy bagel spread.

 

Cranberry Apple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup picked over fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup apple (I used fuji) peeled and finely chopped tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh jalapeños seeded and minced

Instructions

  1. In a small food processor finely chop the cranberries and apples separately. Or chop by hand
  2. Place in a medium size bowl
  3. Add remaining ingredients
  4. Cover and refridgerate at least one hour
  5. Serve with root vegetable chips or persimmon chips
http://gatherweekly.com/cranberry-apple-salsa/

 

 

Home Lifestyle Recipes

Red Cabbage with Apples

November 1, 2016

Growing up, my Mother prepared a lot of cabbage. Stuffed (Galumpki), slaw and soup to name a few.  I’m not sure if it was a result of her Polish heritage or that it is a hearty and economical vegetable but it was often on our table.

Red Cabbage and Apple Salad

Red Cabbage and Apple Salad

 

Farmers’ Markets are overflowing with cruciferous vegetables this time of year. Cabbage, both green and red, broccoli and cauliflower are abundant. On Thursday I noticed the first romanesco , a vibrant Dr. Suess looking vegetable.

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Home Lifestyle Recipes

Spring Buttermilk Coulis

March 17, 2016

Looking for a sauce to drizzle on just about anything? This Spring Buttermilk Coulis is just that. Don’t let the word “coulis” scare you from making this. Coulis (koo-lee) is just a fancy word for “a sauce made with puréed vegetables or fruit and used as a base or garnish”. This coulis is at the heart of spring cooking and it’s simple to make.  Many of the ingredients are readily available at farmers markets this time of year.

Ever heard of green garlic? What started out as farmers thinning their rows of garlic to allow the bulbs to fully mature, has turned into a wildly popular and sought after ingredient. When very young, green garlic looks similar to green onions. As the weeks pass, they grow bigger and start to look like young leeks, eventually turning into heads of garlic. This photo shows both green garlic (the bottom two) and spring onions, available in red and white, purchased from Full Belly Farm at the Thursday Marin Farmers’ Market one week apart. As you can see, both have doubled in size.

Spring Onions and Green Garlic-Gather Weekly

Green garlic makes a cameo appearance for a few weeks from late winter to early spring. Unlike the papery skinned onions and garlic bulbs you see at the grocery store, green garlic has a short shelf life. Since they haven’t matured the flavor is much more mild and can be used raw without being overpowering.

My go-to use of these marvelous alliums is this; slice green garlic, spring onions, and leeks. Sauté in olive oil on low heat so that the vegetables soften without taking on any color. With this mixture on hand, I can add it to many dishes to enhance flavor. A few of my favorite ways to use it is to add to omelets, soups and when puréed, spread on a sandwich.

We drizzled this Spring Buttermilk Coulis (well, I slathered it) over wild salmon. Delicious! The coulis can also be used as a dip for vegetables, as salad dressing (a hit with my family) or with chicken.

 

Spring Buttermilk Coulis

 

Spring Buttermilk Coulis

Spring Buttermilk Coulis

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup each, dill, fennel fronds (the frilly green tops from a fennel bulb, looks like dill*), Italian parsley and chives chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced green garlic (as these grow larger in their season you may want to use less for they will become more pronounced in flavor)
  • 1/2 cup sliced spring onions
  • PLEASE NOTE: stainless steel "dry" measuring cups were used for the quantities of all ingredients above (herbs, garlic and onions)
  • 1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used slightly more than this but start here, you can always add more if you like)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • *i had a bulb of fennel. I never know what to do with the fronds so I added them. They are optional

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender (I used a vitamin) and blend until smooth
http://gatherweekly.com/spring-buttermilk-coulis/

That pretty garnish? Rosemary blossoms from my backyard. I see them everywhere right now at parks in parking lots and shopping centers around town. They make a charming garnish in a gin and tonic too!

IMG_0714-b

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