Makes about 3 cups
4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon strained lemon juice
1. In a medium sauce pan, add all the ingredients. Cook over low heat, covering the pot with a sauté pan to just over 300°F for “hard crack,” about 20 minutes. The caramelized sugar will be a dark amber color. Turn off the flame.
2. Caramelized sugar is easier to work with once it cools about 10 degrees, so allow to cool about 4-5 minutes to cool slightly. Be very careful when handling the hot sugar.
To create a sugar nest:
Dip a large fork or modified whisk in the slightly cooled caramelized sugar and shake it rapidly over the greased handle of a sauce pan. Gather the threads and place on a non-stick liner or parchment paper and repeat to form more nests.
To make a caramel sauce:
Add about 2 ¼ cups heavy cream to a full batch of caramelized sugar, whisking just a small amount of cream in at a time to prevent the caramel from boiling over. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.