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individual butterscotch custards

butterscotch custard

We pretty much forgot to eat sugar in December, I mean like really eat sugar. (Don’t hate me and stop reading!) It wasn’t completely on purpose but more like saying we didn’t get a chance to go sledding. Sledding isn’t a part of our daily life, we have to go out of our way to do it, and there has to be a decent amount of snow to really be worth a ride down a bumpy hill. I’m not sure if this is working, but I’m going with it.

I think a few years ago I stopped making desserts that sit in the house for more than a day. If we make them, we enjoy them in that moment, guilt free, and then promptly give the rest away. Phew! This has been brilliant for me personally. I love to make and share, but I do not love staring at cookies for days.

While I don’t make sugar a part of our daily life at home anymore, when it’s a birthday or holiday we really go out of our way to make it worth it, something truly special. Like Jaime Oliver’s Brazilian Donuts I made with gluten free all purpose flour and dipped in dark boozy chocolate for Christmas morning. Yesssssss.

Jaime Oliver's Brazilian donuts

And that would be our present philosophy/goal on sugar: It has to be worth it–good enough and worth the consequences, because there are some for most of us.

This butterscotch custard makes the list of worth it for all of us in Burschland. It was the one dessert I actually made this Christmas, not counting the breakfast dessert donuts, ha! It’s made from scratch and a gluten free dessert option to boot.

I’ve made it every which way:

Butterscotch custard with whipped cream and chocolate shavings:

butterscotch custard with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

Butterscotch custard with bananas, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings:

butterscotch custard with bananas and whipped cream

Butterscotch custard a la creme brulee with the tiniest sprinkle of salt:

butterscotch creme brulee

And my personal favorite, butterscotch custard with bananas bruleed:

butterscotch with bananas bruleed

I’m taking this recipe with me into 2016, even if I don’t pull it out until next Christmas! 😉 And since I made this again for a photo shoot, I have a couple left just waiting to give away. 😉

Individual Butterscotch Custards

Adapted from Gourmet, October 2003
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  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of turbinado or coarse sugar Sugar in the Raw
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped cream and chocolate topping option:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup honey, or sugar
  • a dash of vanilla or bourbon if you wish
  • 1 dark chocolate bar chunk to make sprinkles
  • Optional: banana slices

Brulee topping option:

  • 2 tablespoons of coarse sugar or turbinado sugar Sugar in the Raw
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional: banana slices


  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • In one medium sauce pan whisk 1 1/2 cups of cream, 6 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Let mixture heat until just simmering.
  • In a new medium sauce pan combine raw sugar and water over medium to high heat. With a clean whisk, mix until sugar is dissolved. Set your timer for 5 minutes and let it bubble and brown, stirring occasionally. When the timer is up remove from heat and add your hot cream to the sugar water mixture. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until fully combined.
  • In a slow steady stream, pour hot cream mixture into the egg yolks whisking as you pour, or set your mixer to slowest stirring speed while you pour your cream into your moving mixer.
  • Once combined, pour the liquid through a strainer into a large glass measuring cup. You should have about 2 cups total. Skim off the foam with a spoon.
  • Divine your liquid into ramekins, brulee dishes, or oven proof mugs. I've used any of these options.
  • Set your dishes on a rimmed metal cookie sheet or cake pan.
  • Pour boiling water (from teapot) into the larger dish so the water surrounds the ramekins and creates a water bath to bake and steam your custards.
  • Set your cookie sheet or pan of water and custards into your 300° oven for 35 minutes. Take a peek at your custards. If they seems wet and jiggly in the middle, give it another 3-5 minutes to set.
  • When ready, remove ramekins from water bath with tongs or hot pads, and set on a wire rack to cool.
  • Custards can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. (They can also be made ahead, cooled, and refrigerated.)

Whipped cream and chocolate topping:

  • Whip cream with a teaspoon or two of maple syrup, honey, or sugar on high until soft peaks form. Taste and add more sweetener, a splash of vanilla or a teaspoon of bourbon if you like.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, run the blade down the side of a chocolate bar to make shavings.
  • Top custards with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

Brulee topping:

  • Sprinkle cooled custards with a teaspoon of sugar across each surface. (If desired, sprinkle the smallest pinch of salt in addition for added flavor contrast.) Using a creme brulee torch, scorch the top to melt the sugar.
  • If you are adding bananas, layer thinly sliced bananas across the top, sprinkle with sugar, and torch.

(If you do not have a torch, place sugared brulees under the broiler for 30 seconds or so until bubbling and melted.)

    This post contains affiliate links to products I know and love. I recommend any of them for this recipe!

    Servings :6
    Author: Heather Bursch
    Did you make it? Mention @heatherbursch or tag #shemadeit so we can admire your work!

    nutritional label for butterscotch custard

    Butterscotch custard four different ways!

    Happy New Year!



    Last Updated on February 16, 2023 by Heather Bursch

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    1. Those look amazing. Such delicate little chocolate curls on the first photo! I feel the same way about making desserts. I want it to be totally worth every bite, and I only want a few portions available to me. Great post.

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