My grandma clipped this recipe from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and sent it to me, probably with my dad in mind. We all know how much he loves caramel.
This recipe is adapted from the Caramel Cream Pie recipe of Sanford D’Amato, owner of Sanford restaurant in Milwaukee, Wis. I’m always a bit leery of attempting a D’Amato recipe as the ones I’ve seen printed in the paper have not been for the novice chef. If you’ve ever eaten a several-course meal at Sanford you know what I mean. A friend of mine worked for and studied under Mr. D’Amato for a few years and learned a lot from him. You can learn a lot from following his recipes, too.
I found this recipe a bit perplexing. Partially because the method and ingredients for making the caramel sauce is different from what I’ve previously used and partly because I had one too many martinis to be able to be trying new and/or complicated cooking techniques.
- 1 c. plus 2 T. warm Corn Syrup Free Caramel Sauce
- baked Milk and Butter Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 c. whole milk
- 4 T. sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 6 T. cornstarch, sifted
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 c. whipping cream
- 2 T. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- Prepare caramel sauce and pie crust. Set aside.
- Place milk in a two-quart saucepan. Sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over the milk and set over medium heat.
- In medium bowl whisk egg yolks. Whisk in remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Add sifted cornstarch and salt and whisk until smooth.
- When milk comes to a full simmer, slowly add a few ladles of milk to the egg mixture, while whisking, to temper. Scrape all the egg mixture back into saucepan and whisk.
- Place over medium-hight heat and whisk continuously, making sure to scrape the bottoms and sides so it doesn’t burn. Cook until the mixture just comes to a boil and gets very thick (this happened for me the moment I added the egg mixture to the milk!). It should be the consistency of a light pudding yet thin enough to pour (mine was very thick – not light at all). Pudding will firm up when it cools.
- Immediately remove the pot from the stovetop and continue whisking as you add the warm caramel sauce. When combined, pour mixture into baked crust. Even out the top with a spatula. Cover filling portion with Saran wrap and refrigerate until custard is cold.
- Whip the cream with sugar and vanilla over high speed until medium firm peaks form. Remove the Saran wrap and spread over the caramel custard. Serve with room temperature caramel sauce if desired.
The technique for making the caramel sauce seemed a bit screwy and unnecessary. I’d like to try this pie again using brown sugar, whipping cream and corn syrup to make the caramel sauce (as I’ve previously used) and see what the big difference is in flavor.
My custard seemed to thicken intensely and immediately upon adding the egg mixture (perhaps because I didn’t sift the cornstarch?), so I didn’t find it necessary to continue cooking and stirring. It thickened so quickly I had a hard time incorporating the caramel into the custard, which is how the texture turned out a bit lumpy. I was worried that the texture would be lumpy but the lumps seemed to disseminate while the pie chilled over night.
Additionally, I dumped all the caramel sauce into the custard because I wasn’t paying attention/didn’t remember you weren’t supposed to use the entire amount of caramel. I’m not sure this slight error greatly impacted the pie in any real capacity.