Bourbon has been having a moment. A funky-fonted, mason-jarred, fabulously-mustached swelling of support from some of Austin’s more hipster haunts (I’m looking at you and your happy hour specials, Rainey Street).
I’m not going to act like I haven’t swung way over into hipster territory, in a lot of ways: I’m typing this on a macbook, while sitting in an aging apartment in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, sipping iced coffee I bought at a food co-op, out of a mason jar I last used to make cheese, for which I used raw milk I got from a goat I gained access to via a herd-share program I joined 4 months ago. I bike-commute and wear red lipstick. But I haven’t quite jumped on the bourbon train.
I can’t say this sauce has made me a bourbon convert, but oh, it tries. It is so good. It is spoon-licking, sundae-topping, mason-jar scraping delicious. It is potentially worth buying bourbon you’re not convinced you’re into yet.
NOTE: the recipe below makes a full litre of sauce, which is maybe a lot of sauce for one person, but is the perfect amount of sauce for making friends via food-bribery. Adjust as desired.
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (may substitute extract)
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped and toasted
- In a high-sided saucepan, pour the bourbon and lemon juice. Gently pour the sugar into the center of the pan, allowing it to spread towards the edges--do not stir.
- Cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Keep a close eye--the sugar can quickly burn as it changes color. When it is a dark amber, remove from heat.
- Immediately add the cream--don't be alarmed as the caramel seizes and hisses. Stirring with a wooden spoon, return the pan to low heat and cook until the sauce thickens (5-10 minutes).
- Add salt and vanilla, stir to combine. Add pecans.
- Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Sauce will keep for up to 1 month.