Monday, April 5, 2010

This sauce (Caramel Sauce)

I was debating about what to write for the month of April. I was thinking about the wonderful produce that is beginning to fill the aisles of my favorite grocery stores. A thought kept popping into my mind that I just couldn't dismiss. I have to tell you about this sauce.
A few years ago I was working in the banquet department of a very French restaurant. It was one of the most wonderful experiences I ever had. I had the privilege of being around good food all day long, trying new things, watching the chefs at work-I loved it! (Honestly, I took the job because I was hoping I would end up in the kitchen) I believe we had a very talented chef there, his version of many sauces and dishes were some of the best I have ever had. Anyway, one day we made bananas foster and I tried the sauce. It was amazing! I asked him what it was and he told me the THREE ingredients. It was unbelievably simple! Soon after I found myself attempting the sauce to show my husband. It was amazing. I made it for my whole family! The only complaint we could even scrape up was that on ice cream the sauce hardened a bit, which is understandable from a candy standpoint.
I adjusted and tried again. Of course each time we had no problem finishing it off, I just wanted to perfect the consistency. Finally, when making a syrup recipe, I applied a similar principle for boiling and it turned out perfectly.

Now, what I like to do with this recipe is to take some fruit, namely, nectarines, and cut them into slices. Dip the slices in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon, and fry them in butter until a nice little crust forms. Place four or five nectarines over a scoop of ice cream and add the syrup. Garnish with some freshly grated nutmeg and you are in for a real treat!

Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) cut into pieces
1/3 cup apple juice
1 cup brown sugar

2 nectarines, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter (for frying)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Increase heat to high and boil for two minutes.
In the meantime, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Dredge half the nectarine pieces and saute for about 2 minutes per side, until a nice, dark brown crust forms. Set aside and repeat with remaining pieces.
Place one scoop of vanilla ice cream in a bowl, top with nectarines and sauce. Enjoy!
Serves 4-6.

Variations: This sauce is also great with sliced bananas and ice cream, or like traditional bananas foster with crepes and bananas.
You could also grill the nectarines for a summertime treat!

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