Pour the sugar into the center of a deep saucepan. Carefully pour the water around the walls of the pan, trying not to splash any sugar onto the walls. Do not stir; gently draw your finger twice through the center of the sugar, making a cross, to moisten it. Over high heat, bring to a full boil and cook without stirring until medium caramel in color, swirling the pan occasionally to even out the color, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring the cream and lemon peel to a boil and set aside to infuse the flavor.
When the caramel is the desired color immediately turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to slowly and carefully stir in the cream (it will bubble up and may splatter). Pass through a fine strainer and serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand