Salted Duck Fat Caramel

September 12, 2019 - Comment

Salted Duck Fat Caramel Image by djwtwo I was out playing Campmaster at my Scout camp this past weekend (as attested to by yesterday’s photo) along with a few friends. “Campmastering” doesn’t really equate to “camping”, though, since the Campmaster’s building, the Phillips House, is also the residence for the Camp Director in the summer,

Salted Duck Fat Caramel

Image by djwtwo
I was out playing Campmaster at my Scout camp this past weekend (as attested to by yesterday’s photo) along with a few friends. “Campmastering” doesn’t really equate to “camping”, though, since the Campmaster’s building, the Phillips House, is also the residence for the Camp Director in the summer, and is a heated 2 bedroom, 1 bath cabin with a kitchen.

With the group that is usually out there with me for these weekends, I’m the designated cook, and I usually go overboard for our Saturday dinner. Over the last few years I’ve had several trips to Portland, Maine both with this same group of friends and for my most recent wedding anniversary, where we’ve enjoyed meals at Duckfat, a fantastic little sandwich shop, so for this weekend I took my basic inspiration from their menu. That translated into a dinner of meatloaf panini with tomato-bacon-chipotle jam, pickled red onion, and chipotle gouda; Hatch chile macaroni and cheese; sautéed red chard in a mustard sauce; vanilla milkshakes with salted duck fat caramel; and orange-cardamom donut holes with more salted duck fat caramel. (I’d love to have done duck fat Belgian-style fries as a side, but the kitchen venting in the cabin can’t really keep up with that much deep-frying. Even the donuts were pushing it.) Ridiculously indulgent, but we only do this a couple of times a year.

This is the salted duck fat caramel, drizzling off a spoon in the morning sun. Improvised a reflector with some white paper towels just to fill the shadows a bit, with a brown craft paper bag in the background.

Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.8 prime, 1/250s @ ƒ/2.8, ISO100. Color finishing in Aperture.

Ingredients

2 c. sugar
2 tbl. light corn syrup
2/3 c. water
2 c. heavy cream
2 tbl. rendered duck fat
1 tsp. kosher salt, Maldon sea salt, or similar

Directions

Bring the cream just to a simmer in a sauce pan, then turn off the heat.

In a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan or saucier, put the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Swirl it a bit to wet the sugar, put on a lid, and bring to a simmer. The steam should help dissolve any sugar on the pan sides. Remove the lid, then continue to cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, the water evaporates, and the sugar begins to caramelize. Swirl gently until the sugar is caramelized and taken on an orange-amber color.

Carefully pour in the hot cream, whisking constantly. This is going to bubble and sputter, so use caution. Whisk in the duck fat, then return to the heat and bring back up to a boil. With these ratios of sugar to cream this will be a sauce consistency as soon as it reaches a boil, but if you want to be absolutely sure boil until you reach 220°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt.

This will keep for a week or so in the fridge, assuming you can wait that long. You should bring it to room temperature or warm it slightly before using. This is fantastic over ice cream, as a ingredient in milk shakes, with sliced apples or bananas, as a dip for donut holes or churros, or, well, anywhere you might use caramel otherwise.