Lylah Ledner of The Simple Farm, a small suburban farm and market in north Scottsdale, gets misty-eyed talking about the doe-eyed Nubian pictured on the package of her farmstead goats’ milk caramels. “Ahni” was Ledner’s first dairy goat. Now Ledner has seven goats – five nannies and two billies, and the girls need milking every day. Ledner and her husband, Michael, can only drink so much of the milk, so they convert the surplus into salted caramel sauce and candies.
The Ledners’ salty-sweet candy melts on the tongue, but we fell harder for their unusually dark caramel sauce. Depending upon the season, the thickness of the sauce varies from pourable to spoonable. During breeding season (typically August through November), the milk’s butterfat content is high, resulting in a thicker sauce.
Thick or thin, the Ledners cook the sauce all day in a copper pot until it’s the color of espresso and smells just this side of burnt, before adding butter, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, sea salt and a splash of heavy cream.
The caramel sauce ($8) is available only at the farm during the weekly farmers’ market (Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon). The candies are available online or at The Herb Box and the Camelback Flowershop ($4 – $12.50).
The Simple Farm’s Salted Caramel