Friday, 6 July 2007

Caramel Burn and Peachy Ending

I have suffered my worst kitchen injury since taking the bread knife to some slippery zucchini in a kitchen-full of flatmates vying for counter-top space. The result was a sliced zucchini as well as a lost bit of the tip of my pinky. This time, my pointer finger was the victim. Last night, in making caramel to top a spontaneous dessert, I burnt a patch of my skin while testing whether or not the caramel was cool enough to eat (which, note, it wasn’t. Nor was it cool enough to touch). I have of course shared the picture of the aftermath as a warning to the rest of you not to touch caramel when it’s still liquid - that white patch is the skin from the burnt part of the finger, all bunched up in a pile. How curious.The sautéed ameretto peaches with hardened caramel fared much better than my finger, the fine caramel filigree proving a nice crunching counterpoint to the warm, soft peaches beneath. It was a very quick and tasty dish, perfect for the peaches which were getting a little too soft, and a nice treat for us who rarely splash out in the dessert direction. Because I feel a bit bad about sharing a mildly-icky picture of a gimpy finger, I've balanced that with a picture of two nice fuzzy peaches, pre setting them alight.

Sautéed Ameretto Peaches with Hardened Caramel
Serves 2

  • 2 ripe peaches
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ C amaretto liqueur
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)
  1. Slice the peach in half, going from top to bottom, and carefully remove the pit
  2. Cut the peach into thick rings, getting about 3 rings per half-peach
  3. Heat a pan to medium heat, and add the butter
  4. Once the foam from the bubbling butter has subsided, add the peach rings.
  5. Push the rings around gently so as to coat but not break them up
  6. Sautee for around 3-4 minutes, until the peach juice has combined with the butter to create a thickened looking sauce
  7. Add half the quantity of ameretto. Remove pan from heat and swirl ameretto around so it combines thoroughly with the peachy buttery juices.
  8. Return pan to heat for a few seconds, then add the rest of the ameretto. Again remove from heat, and swirl until thoroughly combined with the peachy juices.
  9. Return to heat for half a minute, then turn off heat and set aside.
  10. To make the caramel, heat a separate pan until hot.
  11. Add in the sugar, spreading it out so it forms an even layer.
  12. Let the sugar melt naturally under the heat. Monitor the melting of the sugar, taking care that it doesn’t burn.
  13. Remove from heat when all sugar is melted – should take around 3-5 minutes.
  14. Divide the peaches and their juices into two serving bowls.
  15. Using a spoon, drizzle the caramel on top (taking care NOT TO TOUCH IT with your fingers). Make quick back-and-forth flicking motions with your wrist if you want to create a spun sugar/filigree effect with the caramel.
  16. Top with ice cream if you’re feeling even more indulgent

1 comment:

Katja said...

Ouch. You probably already know this, but lavender oil is a godsend for burns. I keep it in the cupboard next to the oven, as I am constantly burning myself. Not only does it take the sting out, but it will prevent blistering if applied quickly enough.