Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fruit Juice Caramel

From Pears to Caramel

The chemistry said it could be done.  And it works.

Here's the short version - and a regular recipe without all the side tracks.

about 4C (+/-) fresh non-citrus fruit juice - I had a box of pears that I peeled, puréed and strained.  Apples, plums, peaches, pears and the like will all work.
 1-2 Tbs coconut oil or butter
(a sprinkle of salt - optional)

paring knife
cutting board
food processor + strainer* (or a juicer)
sauce pan
tester spoon (regular metal spoon)
soft spatula
slotted spoon/small strainer

Juice your fruit.  I seeded and puréed and strained my fruit to get the juice.  I used a jelly bag to strain the juice, though cheese cloth in a colander would work too.  This method takes TIME.  A juicer is faster if you have it.

Place your juice in the sauce pan, bring to a gentle boil.  Skim off any large amounts of scum with the slotted spoon or small strainer.

Keep at a gentle boil for 20 - 25 minutes, until you have less than 1/4 of the volume you started with (3/4 - 1/2 C liquid).  Keep and eye out for bubbles to start forming and staying.  When this happens you are approaching caramel.

 When a foam starts to develop, and begins to mount up - you have thickened your juice to syrup.  Turn the heat down, and dip your tester spoon in.  Blow on it to cool.  When it is cool enough to taste - is it a thick syrup?  If so - off the heat.  If not, keep it on the heat, and stir with the soft spatula.
  Keep checking often until you get a thick syrup.  If you start tasting lots of "toast" in your caramel take it off the heat NOW.  You are about to burn it.
Add the Tbs of fat (butter or cocoanut oil).  Stir it in to melt.  Let it cool to thicken, then beat in the melted fat to make a creamy sauce.  Use what you want now, and throw the rest in the fridge for later.

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