Thanksgiving was delicious! We ate and ate and ate…. I will post about the meal another time…but after the 14 of us had eaten (yes FOURTEEN, and that number is low because not everyone attended) put away the leftovers and rested; (did I mention it was HOURS later) we were finally ready for dessert! I made Apple Crisp, and had considered making some caramel sauce to serve over it for the past few days, but wasn’t sure (how was I not sure??) if I should make it or not.
It had been YEARS since I had made it. And by years I mean when I was on extern, so circa 2001. I have to admit, once in a while I get a little unsure in the kitchen. It has been so long since I have made certain things that sometimes I wonder if its still “in me”; if I can still make consumable magic. I threw caution to the wind and thought “why not? what is the worst that can happen? I set the stove on fire?” and with that I made it.
It felt so good to make magic again. I had forgotten how good it feels to create something from nothing. I make dinner every night and breakfast most mornings; but somehow making caramel is different, it’s magical. It reminded me just how much I LOVE it. Transforming something like heavy cream and sugar into something as luxurious as caramel.
As delicious and magical as it tastes, it is also really simply and easy to make. And there is no comparison for homemade caramel. You can never go back to that “stuff” from the store once you try this! It’s smooth velvety texture slides off of the spoon and into your mouth as it excites and caresses every taste-bud on your tongue while you devour it. And as far as ease of making it goes, all you really need to do is measure your ingredients and pay attention!
This made a huge amount. We all had it on our apple crisp, and I still have two jars that I filled and “preserved” using inversion canning. In fact, it made such a good amount that I am sending one jar to my friend Barb over at Creative Culinary. She likes caramel as much as I do. And with butter and a touch of bourbon in it, I think she will really enjoy this!
- 2/3 Cup Water
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 3 Cups Cream
- A large pot or bowl filled with ice water
- Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan, stir with a spoon to combine, the mixture will be cloudy.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and gradually the sugar will dissolve, probably within about 5 to 10 minutes. (You CAN stir the sugar, some people will tell you it will turn to rock candy. I have NEVER had that happen. If you are scared that it might, add about a teaspoon of lemon juice. That will guarantee the sugar does not crystallize.)
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the sugar cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, 5 minutes or so depending on your heat and stove. If your heat is uneven you can stir the sugar, nothing bad will happen to it.
- Do not walk away from the sugar, it will go from caramelized to burnt in a quick second, so watch it closely!!!!
- When it is caramelized to your liking (figure just a shade darker than a copper penny) quickly take it off the heat (and turn the heat off) and dip the bottom of the pan in the ice bath to shock it and avoid it cooking further
- Return it to the burner (with the heat off) and slowly add the cream. Keep your face and appendages out of the way, it’s going to steam up and rise us as you add the cream. Don’t freak out, it’s going to look like a volcano erupting, just whisk it while you add in the cream.
- The caramel will probably harden up a bit, again don’t freak out.
- Turn the heat on low, and whisk constantly, after about 10 minutes (more or less depending on how much it solidifies) the caramel will melt into the cream leaving you with a smooth velvety sauce.
- Let it sit to thicken and enjoy whenever and however you like!
- Tablespoon of butter, whisked in just after you take it out of the ice bath.
- Bourbon!!!! (The men drank almost ALL the Tuthilltown) There was about a teaspoon left in the bottle, so I poured it in after the sauce finished coming together.
- Basically anything you want! It’s a great way to experiment!
I think I might toss some popcorn in it tonight! 🙂