Quick, make and eat this sundae before the curtain falls with a thud on September 8th, the day after Labor Day. There’s something final and gloomy about that day. It’s like the cartoon image of night falling. Boom. Summer is over. Walk the line. Shape up, or ship out. Get it together. Your days of indulgences were numbered, and now your number is up.
Just when I smugly declare that I don’t eat sugar anymore, I discover this butterscotch sauce in my mother’s recipe box, a vestige from my childhood. I swear it’s genetic. My maternal ancestors each had a serious sweet tooth. My grandmother’s sisters, identical twins Bea and Vi, were famous for their trips to New York from New Jersey. Dressed to the nines, they walked up and down Fifth Avenue, in high heels mind you, scrutinizing the store windows, and making notes for their dress business. Their trail always ended at Schraftts, where they earned their reward of ice cream sundaes with hot butterscotch. Sometimes they’d bring a couple of jars home to share.
I love the precious, popular, and now ubiquitous salted caramel. But a hankering for butterscotch is something that goes deep. Very deep. If I say too much more, you’ll have me committed. So hurry up and make it.
A jolt of salt gives old-fashioned butterscotch sauce, which you can make in less than ten minutes, a modern twist without losing any of its original buttery goodness. Add some salted pecans, and your salty-sweet tooth will be more than satisfied.
Butterscotch sundaes with salted pecans
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, cream, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Taste and add more salt, if you like. Serve warm. Store leftover sauce in the refrigerator.
PECANS AND ICE CREAM
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pints vanilla ice cream
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet and 4 sundae glasses.
2. On a the baking sheet, place the butter in the center. Heat in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it melts. Remove from the oven and toss the pecans in the butter. Spread on the baking sheet andsprinkle with salt.
3. Return to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until toasty. Cool.
4. In each of 4 tall sundae glasses, place several scoops of ice cream. Drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with pecans.