- *Prepare the salted caramel sauce ahead of time. Preparing caramel can be a bit intimidating at first, but reading through the recipe first to understand the attention and caution needed while preparing it makes things go a lot smoother. In fact, I will never use store bought caramel sauce again, if I can help it. This sauce is amazing and worth the effort.
- **Toast flaked coconut ahead of time as well. I just spread mine in a single layer on a toaster oven pan and baked it for a few minutes at 350. It didn't take very long at all for the coconut to start browning. I stirred it a couple of times while it was cooking to make sure it browned evenly. Watch the coconut closely, as it can burn rather quickly.
- ***Grill fresh pineapple spears or slices just before serving time.
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup half-and-half, heated in microwave***
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1. Put the water into a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan. It's important that the saucepan have tall sides, as the water/sugar mixture becomes extremely hot and bubbly. If it gets on you, it could cause a serious skin burn. Also, don't use a pan with a thin bottom, as the heat is distributed more evenly in a pan with a heavy bottom, and helps prevent the caramel from scorching. I used a 2 qt. saucepan.
- 2. Carefully, add the sugar to the center of the pan of water, making sure the sugar does not touch the sides. It's okay if the sugar sinks down into the water and spreads out along the bottom, but you shouldn't have sugar crystals on the sides of the pan above the water line. If you do, take a wet pastry brush and wash any sugar crystals down off the sides. Do not stir the water and sugar together.
- 3. Heat this over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then turn the heat up to high and boil until a golden color develops, or about 5-6 minutes (still, no stirring). Watch this very closely, as the sauce can burn and turn brown very quickly.
- ***Meanwhile, heat the half-and-half in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
- 4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. The caramel is extremely hot and will bubble furiously up the sides of the pan when you add the cream, so add the half-and-half in a very slow trickle while stirring with a whisk. The bubbling will gradually subside.
- 5. Stir in the salt, and let the caramel sauce cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken up more as it cools. Wait at least 30 minutes before trying to taste the sauce or before serving it. If you don't resist the temptation to taste it, your tongue will pay for that decision. :-P
- 6. Store cooled sauce, covered, in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Reheat in a microwave for about 60 seconds before serving This sauce can also be used for dipping apple slices, over fat free ice cream or on angel food cake.
Gooseberries Fresh Food Market