17 October 2011

The Flavor of Autumn? Caramel


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!



Caramel Sauce
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!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh YUM!!! You made a good day even better by your post:)
I will SO have to try this! Thanks!
Blessings,
Aimee

zupansmarkets said...

This looks so simple—and beautiful! And it sounds much better than store-bought caramel!

If you ever find yourself low on these essential baking ingredients, don't forget to stop at Zupan's!

Lisa said...

Aimee - I hope you will try it! This sauce is so simple and it makes just enough to enjoy without having to wonder how to use what's left over.

ZM - Thank you! It is always fun to stop by Zupan's whenever I'm in the neighborhood.

cathrnfrly@aol.com said...

This sauce looks heavenly, Lisa. I can imagine it drizzled on a slice of warm apple pie or grilled peach halves. It looks quick and easy to make.

grace said...

the image of cascading caramel is hard to top, ever. lovely post!