Butterscotch Ice Cream

My husband got me the bible of all ice cream books for Christmas this year: David Lebovitz‘s The Perfect Scoop. It is an epic tribute to ice cream and all things that go with ice cream, and I have been so excited to start working my way through it and hopefully pick up some small morsel of David’s genius along the way.

Where to start? I have so many pages bookmarked that I figured I had better find a way to test out a couple of recipes at a time or I’ll never have any hope of getting to them all.

There is almost nothing more comforting than a warm baked good topped with ice cream, melting into a sweet pool at the bottom of a bowl. Truth be told, I almost always keep a stash of brownies and vanilla ice cream in my freezer for “emergencies.” But rather than try and perfect a classic, I decided to give my standard Brownie Sundae a makeover and go blonde.

Behold the new and improved version: the Butterscotch Blondie Sundae (or Butterscotch Ice Cream over Butterscotch Chip Blondies). This is seriously one of the most inspiring makeovers I’ve seen (or tasted) ever.

Start by melting the butter and stirring in the brown sugar. The original recipe calls for either salted or unsalted butter. I opted for salted to give it just a hint more of a salty finish. It also called for dark brown sugar, but I only had light brown on hand and actually really liked the subtler less molasses-flavored outcome.

After boiling the sugar mixture, remove it from the heat and stir in a cup of the cream to make a rich butterscotch syrup. Pour this into a bowl and set aside, placing a mesh strainer over the top in preparation for the custard.

Use the same saucepan for making your custard so you don’t lose an ounce of that wonderful butterscotch. David’s base is a rich blend of whole milk, cream and six egg yolks. Diet be damned!

Strain your custard into the butterscotch, add in the vanilla extract and bourbon (according to David, Scotch whiskey also works), and mix thoroughly. I strained my base a second time to make extra sure it was ultra smooth, removing any bits of sugar that didn’t completely dissolve.

Cool the mixture over an ice bath before covering and placing in the refrigerator to chill completely. Then churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and freeze for about six hours. I know, it will be hard to resist waiting that long to digging in, but I promise it is worth the wait!

The result is a perfectly creamy scoop that is wonderfully rich and flavorful but not overly heavy or sweet. The butterscotch is well balanced with just the slightest salty hint. Enjoy it alone or top a warm Butterscotch Chip Blondie for a match made in heaven.

Butterscotch Ice Cream


  • 5 Tbls butter, salted
  • 3/4 c. + 2 Tbls packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 3/4 c. whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbls bourbon


  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt until well moistened. Increase the heat until the mixture starts to bubble and boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of the cream. Scrape the butterscotch into a medium to large bowl (one that can fit into a larger bowl, to make an ice bath). Set a mesh strainer over the top.
  2. In the same pan, warm the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the warm cream and milk into the egg yolk, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly with a heatproof spatula over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
  4. Pour the custard through the strainer, into the butterscotch. Add the vanilla and bourbon. Strain the custard a second time to remove any remaining clumps of sugar.
  5. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water, and place the bowl of custard into the ice bath. Stir the mixture until cool.
  6. Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  7. Churn ice cream in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze at least 6 hours before serving.

Serve on its own or over a warm Butterscotch Chip Blondie.

Yields: approx. 12 cookie square

Adapted from: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

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