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Joe’s Butterscotch Sauce

March 10, 2011


This post is a little, scarcely photographed followup to my post about bread pudding. It’s one of my favorite dessert sauces – sticky and sweet, and perfect poured over ice cream or bread pudding or a slice of cheesecake or a bowl of mascarpone or fruit tart or pound cake or anything really. But it’s also about a very good cook in my life.

I’ve probably made you weepy before with my sentimental odes to my father, but don’t go grabbing the tissues yet. This sauce comes from one of his lifelong friends.

My dad grew up with Joe in West Roxbury, Massachusetts and shared apartments with him in Boston and Paris before they both got married and settled down not too far from where they wreaked havoc grew up. My dad still has the letters and postcards he sent to Joe when they lived continents apart and photos from their wild parties (which, to the surprise of absolutely no one, are still happening with impressive frequency).

And while my dad can throw down the best mushrooms you’ve ever had, he’ll probably tell you that Joe can do them better. Joe, you see, is a masterful cook. No, not a cook. A chef.

My dad will call Joe all the time to ask exactly how long to roast a certain cut of meat or what herbs he would squash into venison meatballs. How to achieve a perfectly crispy skin on a cut of fish or what to do to bring a bland sauce to life. Joe knows the answer to almost every culinary query.

But no matter how complex his answers and recipes can get, my favorite his the simplest: butterscotch.

It’s easy, it’s delicious, it’s everything homemade butterscotch should be. It makes ice cream dance and bread pudding sing. And it makes lifelong friendships all the sweeter.


Thanks, Joey.

6 tbls (80 grams) butter
1½ cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden or corn syrup
5 tablespoons heavy cream

Melt all the ingredients except the heavy cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Allow the mixture to boil for 2 t0 3 minutes, then remove from heat and add the heavy cream. Return to heat briefly, just for a minute, stirring to bring everything together. It will thicken as it cools.

Keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Reheat to serve. Makes enough for 8 – 10 servings. Share with friends and they’ll probably stick around for life.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jess permalink
    March 10, 2011 10:03 pm


  2. March 13, 2011 7:24 pm

    This sounds delightful and perfect for the sticky toffee pudding that I am making for a Sunday lunch today.

    I am glad you received the postcard. Thanks again for the wonderful tips! You helped to make our trip an exceptionally delicious one.



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