(courtesy of Patti Dellamonica-Bauler, executive pastry chef, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno. Serves 10 to 12)
“This is a recipe I have been making since culinary school, when I worked for Bradley Ogden (a James Beard Award-winning chef),” Dellamonica-Bauler says. “I’ve tweaked it over the years, and it continues to be a customer favorite.”
3½ cups heavy cream, separated
½ vanilla bean, scraped
9 ounces butterscotch chips
6 extra-large egg yolks
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup cream, room temperature
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons Scotch liquor
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place oven rack in center position.
Place butterscotch chips in bowl large enough to accommodate all ingredients. Add to medium saucepan 3 cups cream, vanilla bean scrapings, and salt. Whisk to combine and heat to near boil. Pour cream over butterscotch chips; allow to sit for a few minutes, then whisk until chips are melted. Set mixture aside.
Combine water and brown sugar in small saucepan, and cook until sugar slows and bubbles are dime sized — mixture should smell like caramel. Turn off heat and let sit for 1 minute. Carefully add reserved ½ cup cream and Scotch to the brown sugar. Whisk to dissolve.
Next, add mixture in saucepan to cream-and-butterscotch mixture. (This is your pudding base.) Add a cup or more of pudding base to the yolks; then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pudding base.
Pour pudding mixture into shallow ovenproof dish measuring at least 8 inches long. Cover dish with foil. Place a rimmed cookie sheet (or low-sided roasting pan) into the oven and place pudding dish on the sheet. Carefully pour hot water into the cookie sheet or roasting pan, ¾ to 1 inch deep.
Bake pudding until just set (there will be a slight jiggle). Timing will vary by oven. Remove from oven and strain into individual cups, 4 to 6 ounces in each. Cover and refrigerate until set (minimum 5 hours).
Serve chilled with lightly sweetened whipped cream.