Saturday, October 12, 2013

Homemade Caramel

This recipe come from a dessert found in Gourmet March 1997.  The dessert is wonderful but I have been wanting to double the Caramel to have on hand for other uses.  My son has wanted me to buy prepackaged Apples with Caramel ($1 each) for his school lunch so I decided to make my own.

This is such a delicious caramel recipe that I hope you give it a try!  It's wildly fun to make.  It definitely falls into the category of "I can't believe I just made this!!"

For the purpose of just making caramel, this recipe is doubled and can easily be cut in half.  Do all the measuring first because you will not have time once you get going.
  • Measure 2/3 Cup Sugar directly into a thick bottom saucepan.  I use All-Clad.
  • Measure 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup into a 1 Cup Measuring Cup and have a rubber spatula set out.    
  • Measure 1 1/3 Cups Heavy Cream into a 2 Cup Measuring Cup.  
  • In a small dish, combine 2 tsp Corn Starch with 2 Tbl Water.  
  • Have at the ready a Candy Thermometer, a bottle of good quality Vanilla, and a measuring spoon.

First, place the pan with Sugar over moderate heat and stir with a fork until it melts.  This will take about 5-7 minutes.  At first, it will appear lumpy but as it melts it will get smooth.  Caution: IT IS VERY HOT!

Continue to cook without stirring and swirl the pan until it turns a golden brown color.  

Add Corn Syrup, scraping with the rubber spatula to get it all.  Boil over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whip until well combined.  This will take some effort.  Don't give up even though it looks like a lump of golden brown candy in the corn syrup.  Again, as it melts, it will combine to a smooth consistency.

Place candy thermometer in the saucepan.  Add Heavy Cream to caramel.  It will steam, so use a mitt for pouring.   Boil, stirring occasionally,  and cook until the thermometer reads 210 degrees.

Stir Corn Starch mixture into the caramel.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring with a wire whip, the entire time.  Remove from heat.  When caramel stops bubbling, add 1 tsp Vanilla.  As the caramel cools it will firm up but still remain runny.

Dip Apple Wedges into Caramel for a snack or dessert, top Apple Pie Ala Mode, serve warm on a Sundae Bar, or just ladle over Vanilla Ice Cream.  Either way, it's delicious and you won't believe you made it!!

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