It would indeed be churlish of me to post three days’ worth of russenzopf travails, only to bail on an actual recipe. A real recipe is coming, dear friends, just as soon as I finish all the weight/volume conversions. If you have not already disappeared in disgust, please bear with me. Your patience will be rewarded, and soon.
In the meantime, I have a little puzzle, the solving of which will require some assistance. A few days ago, I decided to unwind from the rich tapestry that is LuthorCorp by watching selections from my library of Rick Sebak documentaries. Midway through Things That Aren’t There Anymore, Mr. Sebak and his fellow Pittsburghers sing the praises of the much-missed Isaly’s Dairies. I have never been able to watch this scene without feeling a keen, cut-glass-edged longing to crack the code on time travel, so that I could eat lunch at Isaly’s every day, and maybe have a Skyscraper cone or a Klondike bar on Fridays. (Those things in grocery stores that now bear the Klondike label are owned by Good Humor/Unilever, and are a pale, poor shadow of the real thing.) As I found myself becoming more and more wistful, I listened to one of the Isaly descendents talk about her favorite flavor of ice cream, Maricopa, a vanilla ice cream “with the most delicious butterscotch.” If I’d had a cowlick on my head, it would have sprung straight up, with an accompanying sproingy noise.
Now, I love butterscotch, and have since I was three years old, but I met my match in butterscotch love the day I met Lloyd. He spent years looking for a commercially-available butterscotch sauce that didn’t taste like chemicals and corn syrup (some were better than others, but none was just right—luckily, the homemade version is not at all hard to make), and I do believe that if he could only have one dessert in life, he would turn his back on any chocolate, any cherry pie, any tiramisu or napoleon, for a really good bowl of butterscotch pudding. The first time we watched Things That Aren’t There Anymore, Lloyd’s eyes lit up at that phrase, “most delicious butterscotch.” “I’ll bet THAT was something,” he said dreamily.
Although the Isaly’s name has been licensed and there are selected flavors of Isaly’s ice creams available in certain markets, Maricopa is not among them. If I want Maricopa ice cream, I’ll just have to make it myself. You can imagine how burdensome I find the prospect.
Before I get started on this excellent adventure, though, I’ll need some information from those lucky souls who actually got their Maricopa from their own neighborhood Isaly’s. I understand that the butterscotch was in chunks, rather than in ribbons of sauce, but was the butterscotch chewy, like a caramel, or crunchy, like a hard candy? Was the ice cream a custardy vanilla, like French vanilla, or was it plainer and creamier, like a Philadelphia-style ice cream? Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated, to say nothing of rewarded with a recipe, which, really, will be posted a damn sight faster than that of the russenzopf.