Salted Rum Caramel with Grilled Peaches & Ice Cream is my kind of summer dessert! Rebecca's sister and I share a deep love of homemade rum-spiked caramel. Many a night has been spent together eating gobs of the stuff poured over everything from bananas to apples to ice cream...or, when no one is looking eating it by the spoonful straight from the pan. In preparation for family dinner tonight (a weekly tradition), I decided to go all out with a new version I've been making with a local rum-style spirit made from buckwheat honey (Wigle Whisky's amazingly delicious Aged Landlocked). The caramel is rich, smooth, and sumptuous with a salty rum finish. The grilled peaches melt in your mouth with the unexpected smoky taste of summer grilling. While the caramel sauce might sound intimidating, you can go as slow as you like over a lower flame. Once you master the technique of dry caramel, you can try other crowd favorites like our Caramel Corn.
Yield: Serves 8
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 ounces rum (we used Aged Landlocked)
- 4 large ripe but still firm peaches, cut into long slices (about 8 per peach)
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Vanilla Ice cream
- Place a heavy bottomed saucepan (or saucier) on medium heat. If you are feeling daring, go to high heat for a faster cook. Dump in the sugar. Measure out your cream and set aside (for step 4). Throughout this process you will never stop whisking. Your goal is to evenly melt and brown the sugar without burning it. After the first 3-4 minutes of cooking the dry sugar, you'll notice the sugar starting to look wet beginning to clump. After about 1 minute more, and you'll see the sugar melting around the edges and turning golden brown. Keep whisking.
- You are now in the melting phase. Continue whisking for approximately 2-3 minutes, until your sugar begins to turn uniformly brown and appears to melt into itself. Things will begin to move more quickly at this point. If you get nervous, just turn down your heat...it is slower, but it gives you more time to react. Keep whisking.
- You are now in the emulsification phase. You will be adding the cream very slowly (about 2-3 tablespoon at a time). If you pour it in all at once, your sugar will seize into a hard ball, which is just plain disheartening and takes a very long time to dissolve back into solution. As you add your first tablespoons of cream, the mixture will start making noise...steaming and boiling vigorously. You will repeat this step (adding 2-3 tablespoons of cream at a time and whisking until the bubbling slows). Continue until your cream is used up. Keep whisking.
- Congratulations! You are now in the finishing phase. As you add the last of your cream, you'll notice the the consistency and color of the caramel changing. It will be getting thicker and creamier. The longer you cook the caramel at this point, the thicker it will get. You want the caramel to be falling off the whisk in thick streams. When the caramel reaches this stage, remove the pan from the heat, add salt and rum, and whisk to combine. For the best texture, strain the hot caramel sauce through a mesh sieve into a jar or bowl. This straining eliminates any clumps of sugar that did not quite dissolve properly during cooking. This caramel sauce will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
- To grill the peaches, clean the grill thoroughly and preheat on high for about 15 minutes. You want the grill perfectly clean and smoking hot. Using a wad of paper towel, carefully and quickly rub the grill surface with the melted butter. Quickly lay out the peaches across the grill and cook for 2 minutes with the lid open. Using a metal spatula, turn each peach slice and cook for 1 minute on the second side. You are looking for deep grill marks, but still intact peaches. Remove from heat.
- To serve, add slices of grilled peaches and a healthy dollop of salted rum caramel sauce to your favorite ice cream, and enjoy!