Is the caramel recipe wrong, or is it my technique?

Paul Roub
  • Is the caramel recipe wrong, or is it my technique? Paul Roub

    Twice now, I've made the "Ultimate Tarte Tatin" recipe from the Food Network site. In both cases, the crust and apples worked out perfectly.

    And in both cases, the caramel seemed to come together before adding the apples, but never really firmed up and remained a thin liquid throughout the cooking process and afterwards. Tasty, but not really caramel at all, and not a successful pie.

    The caramel is 3/4 cup sugar + 2 tbsp water, and 1/2 stick butter. The instructions are brief, probably fine if you know what you're doing. I'm a caramel novice.

    Any suggestions on better or more specific ratios, or more-foolproof techniques, would be appreciated.

  • I like the recipe from Gourmet magazine because I don't have to try to stand apples up in hot caramel. It uses the same amount of butter, less sugar, and no water. Works for me every time.

  • The viscosity of the caramel could also vary with the type of apples used. Apples with high water content will dilute the caramel more when your pie cooks. Unfortunately I have no facts regarding water contents of different varieties of apple.

    Yet another variable is the age of the apples. Newly picked apples will contain more water than if they have been sitting in the store or in a warehouse for weeks/months. Apples keep for a long time if stored properly. Eventually they wrinkle and will then contain considerably less water than when they were fresh.

dessert caramel
Related questions and answers
  • Back in 2008, Good Eats showed a recipe for pie crust which included distilled alcohol. In 2009, America's Test Kitchen showed a recipe for blueberry pie which also used alcohol in the crust. In both cases, the program explained that alcohol made the pie dough easier to work without encouraging gluten formation the way that water would. Does anyone know where the idea of using alcohol in pie crust really came from? Was this a well-known trick, or did one of these programs invent the idea?

  • I recently tried to practice making a Seitan based vegan turkey tube using this recipe. To test results for different cooking methods, I split the final dough in half before baking, made one that was just turkey-dough and one that was a turkey-dough and stuffing roulade. Both turkey loaves came out well. However, the recipe gives instructions on fabricating a kind of "turkey skin." Basically... (about 45-60 minutes, brushing on more oil occasionally). The results were basically a distracting pastry shell wrapped around a seitan loaf; it did not appear to adhere to the surface of the loaf at any

  • Possible Duplicates: How can brown stains be removed from pots and pans? How to keep my stainless steel skillet clean? A couple of times I've left things cooking a drop too long - and all the water evaporated and the food started to burn. Once it was potatoes; once apples. Both times I caught it pretty quickly and most of it came off, but now I'm left with slight scorch marks... in the pot, but it didn't really help. Any other ideas?

  • what it says about rabbit which came as a surprise to me (p. 653 in the 2008 print): But you can substitute rabbit---which really does taste like chicken---for virtually any recipe for braised chicken... rabbit once every other month, or more often; definitely more frequently than chicken. That said, I don’t recall rabbit to taste anything like chicken up to the point that apart from soup I don’t value... recipe should I try with rabbit meat? Am I prejudiced against chicken ;-)? References: some threads mention this substitution, but they don’t exactly answer my question.

  • I saw a great recipe for Beef Wellington on Serious Eats that I'm eager to try. However, my roommate does not eat mushrooms (both because he dislikes the flavor and because he had a bad experience as a child, so "hidden mushrooms" are out too). I worry that omitting them would defeat most of the purpose of the dish. Is there anything that could be used in their place to give a similar flavor?

  • One sign of really good fresh well-roasted coffee beans is foam. When you pour hot water into the French press, it foams, often forming a head up to 2" high. And when you use an espresso machine, you get a nice foam called "crema". However, if you pour hot water into a teapot and see foam, that's a sign of terrible tea and you should throw it out. Questions: what chemical reaction is taking place in each of the two cases (coffee and tea), and why does coffee get less foamy when it gets older whereas old tea gets more foamy?

  • Maybe it's called something else, but to me a grilled cheese sandwich with extra stuff in it is an "ultimate". The extra stuff I'm referring to is generally tomato, onion (thin sliced raw or grilled) and bacon (already cooked). The problem I'd like to correct is that often the cheese has difficulty fusing the sandwich together because it doesn't stick well to the other ingredients. I've tried a few different placements of the ingredients but they all usually end with on slice of bread not really "attached" the way a proper grilled cheese should be. For example: Bread, Cheese, Other, More

  • completely off the surface. In both cases, I ended up with a loaf with dry upper crust and greasy soaked lower half. What was my mistake? How should I have worked the oil into/onto the bread to get a nice...Last weekend, I tried making focaccia for the first time. I tried two recipes at once, the one from The Bread Baker's Apprentice and a traditional Genovese focaccia recipe modified for quick-rise (I got this one from a FOAF). For both, I tried to massage the olive oil (in the BBA case infused with dried herbs) into the dough before the proofing (that's a word at least one of the recipes said

  • apples, while cider (UK) is an alcoholic beverage made from apple juice (aka. hard cider (US) or scrumpy (UK) for stronger dry ciders). cider (AU) refers to both the alcoholic beverage and any non... or pickled (if in vinegar) in the UK. recipe (US) is sometimes called a receipt in other areas and in older usage (until early 20th century; more info). receipt (US, modern usage) is "a written...), Scallions (US), and green onions may not always be the same thing, but can typically be substituted for each other. (more details). Herbs, Spices & Seasonings: Kosher(ing) salt (US) is flaked

Data information