Combine the sugar and water in a medium-heavy nonstick saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, swirling until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, swirl occasionally and continue to cook until the mixture is a deep golden brown—about 10–15 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't get too brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream through a fine metal strainer to protect yourself from splattering. The mixture will bubble up and solidify momentarily, but it will smooth out again as you cook it. Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth again.
Stir in the pecans and salt and let the sauce cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken as it cools. For a looser sauce, simply reheat it slightly. Makes about 1 cup.
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