I love caramel! I mean really, if you turn you nose up at caramel, I’m not sure what’s wrong with you. Is there anyone out there who actually doesn’t like caramel?
Of all the candy in a box of fine chocolates, I am drawn to it. It’s almost love – the pure sweet, dreamy flavor of sugar transfixed into caramel, just by cooking it, is beyond words. It goes with so many things in the fall, or anytime.
I do think it was made for this season of the year. The gentle golden color of the harvest sun, the smell of sugar browning is like the breeze beneath the crisp falling leaves with a sweetness just takes the edge off the cooling frost.
Once tasted it is never forgotten. Caramel can range from gooey to chewy to brittle, its flavor remains sweet, mellow, and nothing less than bodacious. Add it to fancy coffees, dunk pears or churros in the sauce, drizzle it over cheesecake or cinnamon rolls, dunk apple slices into it for pure decadence.
Who hasn’t had a caramel apple either at the fair or maybe your mom made them for you years ago as a special treat? OK, it doesn’t grow on trees but it’s the perfect pairing. Good heavens, if you don’t have time to make a good sauce, get a bag of those wrapped caramel candies at the grocery that have been around for years. Peel them and toss some of them into the next apple pie before baking.
Remember I told you that Eagle Brand would be available in a caramel version for the holidays? Oh that just opens up a whole world of recipes.
This rich custard pie is a classic favorite. The secret is to make the caramel in a cast iron skillet!
- 1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 scant tbsp. corn starch
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 cups milk
- 4 egg yolks, beaten
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. butter
In a medium saucepan, mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, milk, and egg yolks, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Sprinkle remaining 1 cup sugar in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is caramelized – golden color. Remove from heat and carefully pour into warm cream mixture. Stir constantly. It may lump up, but will melt and the mixture will be smooth again. Add vanilla and butter. Stir until smooth. Pour mixture into baked pie shell.
Make meringue out of the egg whites, adding sugar to taste, and spread on top of pie. Bake until light brown. Or forgo the meringue and top with whipped cream.