"Caster sugar" is the British food term for very fine granulated sugar that is valued by bakers and cooks for making meringues, custards, candies, mousses and baked goods. Because caster sugar crystals are so fine, they dissolve quickly, making the sugar particularly suitable for sweetening cold drinks or cocktails. In U.S. stores, the sugar is usually sold under the name "superfine sugar." Caster (superfine) sugar is sometimes referred to as baking sugar or casting sugar.
It is not the same as powered sugar, though. Although caster sugar is very fine, it retains the rough texture of sugar.
Caster (superfine) sugar is the best sugar to use for sorbets and is delicious sprinkled over fresh fruit. It melts faster and incorporates into sauces, puddings and bases more quickly than regular granulated sugar. If your recipe calls for caster sugar, you can use regular sugar but the result may be grainy.
Do It Yourself Caster Sugar
Caster (or superfine) sugar can be difficult to find. In a pinch, you can make it at home using regular granulated sugar and a food processor.
- Pour regular granulated sugar into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Use more granulated sugar than you will need because some of it will be pulverized to dust in the food processor.
- Cover the food processor lid with a kitchen towel. This keeps the dust down while the food processor is running. Making superfine sugar produces sugar dust that quickly spreads to surrounded areas unless it is confined to the food processor.
- Turn on the food processor at high speed and wait for it to process the sugar for 1 to 2 minutes. If you are processing a large amount of sugar, it may take longer. Process the sugar until it is very fine grain.
- Wait a minute for the dust to settle and then remove the processor lid. Store the superfine sugar in an airtight container.
Caster Sugar Recipes
After you finish making the caster sugar, you can try it out in one of these yummy recipes:
Where to Buy Caster Sugar Online
If your local market doesn't carry caster sugar and you don't want to make it yourself, you can buy it online. India Tree brand caster sugar is available at SurLaTable.com in 1-pound. bags. For those who use caster sugar in large quantities, Amazon.com carries the India Tree brand in 3-pound jars.