A certain Butterscotch Budino with Salted Caramel has become legendary on the West Coast. Starting at Los Angeles' Pizzeria Mozza, versions of this salty sweet pudding also appear at Gjelina in Los Angeles and Nostrana Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. The best may be up for debate (cyberspace is teeming with reviews in different camps), but I'm grateful to have a recipe with which to bring this debate home. Adapted from Pizzeria Mozza's original recipe, this version comes to us by way of Chef Cathy Whims at Nostrana. It's absolutely enchanting and wholly satisfying.
I've omitted the recipe for the caramel sauce here, opting instead for Hot Cake's Salted Caramel. Their version is better than anything I can make myself. Poured over nutty-sweet, melt-in-your-mouth butterscotch pudding and topped with a spoonful of crème fraiche, this seductive treat will have you dreaming about your next bite.
By Cathy Whims of Nostrana Restaurant (adapted from Pizzeria Mozza)
2 cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cups milk
1 large egg
5 egg yolks
4 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup plus 2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup water
5 Tbs butter
2 Tbs dark rum
1 cup crème fraiche
Fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt
Heat cream and milk together until just under a boil. Whisk together egg & egg yolks with cornstarch.
In a heavy pot large enough to hold all ingredients, put brown sugar, salt, and water and stir to dissolve. Place over medium heat and cook until water evaporates and sugar caramelizes. This happens quickly so don't walk away or a fire could ensue.
Immediately, carefully pour warm cream and milk into sugar. Stand back, it will splatter.
Whisk over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Slowly pour this into egg mixture, whisking all the while. Return to pot, put back on heat. Cook until thickens, whisking constantly. Pour into a bowl over a strainer. Whisk in rum and butter and pour into individual ramekins. Chill in fridge.
Whip crème fraiche until loosely thick.
To serve, pour a layer of caramel sauce over each ramekin, sprinkle with fleur de sel or maldon salt and top with a dollop of crème fraiche.