Caramel. Just the sound of the word itself, spoken slowly and with distinct elocution, is poetry in its own right.
So simple, caramel is made by applying heat to sugar and cream. You can add a little butter for richness. That’s all it takes to create a mouth watering confection that is sultry, even smokey, and deeply complex. The closer it gets to the edge of burning the more satisfying the bittersweet caramel notes become.
Not only does it taste fantastic but caramel is also truly beautiful; spun into amber threads for decoration, solidified into nut brittles like wedges of stained glass or drizzled like droplets of golden sunshine over desserts.
Caramel is pure kitchen alchemy. Not only is it a paragon of transformation itself but it retains the power to transform when added to other kitchen creations as well. This particular sauce was suggested as an accompaniment for a pear pie with streusel topping by the folks at MyRecipes.com. When I made a second little Ginger Pear Pie this week I remembered the suggestion. I omitted the streusel topping on my pie and served the pie slices drizzled with Caramel Sauce.
It was delicious. So delicious that I invested another five mintues in making a second batch of the sauce that I drizzled on every other dessert I tested this week from Banana Streusel Cake to Spirited Southern Sweet Pototo Bars. I also used it to top plain sliced fruit including pears, peaches, apples and bananas. That done I wiped my finger around the edge of the decanter to get the last taste lest a drop of the golden liquid go to waste. Caramel really is that good!
adapted from MyRecipes.com
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
small pinch of salt, plain or fancy (if desired)
1 teaspoon water
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, whipping cream and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and water. Serve at room temp or slightly warmed with pie, cake squares, fruit or other desserts.Enjoy!