Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall Is: Caramel Sauce

   One of my favorite things about fall: caramel. Not the packaged squares found on store shelves, mind you, I am talking hours of standing at the stove stirring until you can't take it anymore caramel. Caramel that is so amazingly good you only allow yourself to make it once a year..that caramel. Needless-to-say, we have some of those very favorite caramel recipes here in this kitchen..and today, we are talking sauce.
   While researching and studying the fine art of home made cheese I came across a recipe for Cajeta, or Mexican Caramel Sauce. It intrigued me..such simple ingredients..such a simple process. I had to try it, of course. The results made this tasty delight part of our fall tradition.

Cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce)

       yields approximately 3 pints

2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 quarts whole goat's milk
3 cups sugar (I used white, but I think brown would have been bolder)

Dissolve the cornstarch and baking soda in 1 cup of the milk and stir to dissolve any lumps. Pour this into a large (mine is a stock pot) heavy bottom sauce pan. Pour in the remaining milk and the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Yes, I mean constantly- milk scorches in nothing flat and is a mess to clean up if it foams over. We took turns stirring it nonstop. Cook until it is the consistency of Carmel sauce. Now, bear in mind, this takes about two hours of continual stirring. After about one hour the mixture takes on the appearance of evaporated milk and is slightly thicker. After one hour and fifteen minutes (give or take) the mixture looks like condensed milk..slightly darker and thicker. Around the two hour mark, the mixture is a syrup consistency, tan to light brown, and tastes like caramel. When tested - drizzling some on a cool plate- it gelled well and tasted amazing!
We then poured it through a fine strainer into clean jars, let it cool a bit, and enjoyed it.
As said earlier, it was a great dip for fruit and a tasty topping for ice cream...I'm sure we will find even more uses for this tasty treat- my oldest farm girl says it makes a great caramel mocha frappe..gotta love her.

   This wonderful treat has been shared as a gift, sent along as a sample, and requested by friends. I will mention that, while it is traditionally made with goat milk, whole cow's milk works just as well. Last year we added cinnamon..wonderful little twist. This year? Well, my farm boy is thinking cayenne to heat things up a bit. 
   Either way, this sauce is versatile and oh, so wonderful...made only once a year because, well, if we made it more often we would eat it way too much!


Michelle said...

This looks wonderful. How do you process it for storage? I would love to make some.

Simply Scaife Family said...

I have never canned the sauce, but instead use my vacuum sealer to pull air out of the jars and process them. Using this, I have not had any problem with mold or such, but then, it doesn't last very long either. Hope this helps.

Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl said...

New follower here from Homestead Revival. I would love for you to come share at my weekly Farm Girl Blog Fest: Hope to see you there! Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily

Simply Scaife Family said...

Welcome, Lisa! I will be sure to take you up on the invite and join your sight and your hop..thank you:)