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Basic Caramel Sauce


submitted by perrin on Oct-18-04
(this recipe is good for breakfast/dessert)
(this recipe is suitable for vegetarians)
servings: (not specified)

This is a rich, luscious caramel sauce from Cook's Illustrated that improves nearly anything, but particularly apple crepes or ice cream.  I usually make enough to last and keep the extra in a squeeze bottle in the fridge.  This makes a generous amount, so feel to halve it.  Be careful handling it, because the syrup gets very hot.  This can be scary the first time you make it and see the hot caramel lava bubbling in the pot, but it will be okay.

1/2 cup water
1 cup (7 oz) sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh)

1. Pour the water into a heavy 2 qt suacepan.  Pour the sugar into the center, avoiding the sides.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Uncover and continue to boil until syrup is thick and straw-colored (300 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 7 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for another minute or two until syrup turns amber (350 degrees F).
3. Meanwhile, bring cream and salt to a simmer over high heat.  If the cream boils before the syrup is ready, take it off heat and cover it to keep warm.
4. Remove syrup from heat and carefully pour about a quarter of the hot cream into it.  It will bubble like crazy.  When bubbling stops, add the rest of the cream and the vanilla and lemon juice, and whisk it until the sauce is mooth.



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