A little patience and lots of sugar, that’s what the Very Best Caramel Sauce is made of. Sugar is melted down until it becomes a deep amber color then combined with butter, heavy cream and a hint of vanilla to create the ultimate treat topper on the planet.
Who visited their local farm stand this weekend? (Me…I’m raising my hand.) Did you notice what’s happening there? The transition has begun…that time of year when we straddle summer and fall with all the glorious bounty that nature hurls at us. The time when tomatoes and peaches are sitting in harmony with apples, butternut squash and pears. The time of year when you need The Very Best Caramel Sauce to drizzle on absolutely everything.
There’s a harvest festival that happens every fall at Merrymead Farm not too far from my house. We go every single year, I’ve been going for almost 20 years now and the festival hasn’t changed one bit. Most of the activities are on the weekends and the place gets packed…lines are insanely long but the food is worth the wait. Cider donuts and apple delights…that’s where you’ll find me. The apple delight is a simple pile of sliced apples drenched in warm caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with nuts….or not. It’s simple and tasty….it is the epitome of fall flavor.
I make caramel sauce pretty regularly, it’s dreamy on bread pudding or a pile of apples. It’s so simple I never thought to include the recipe here but then…I saw what you all were searching for, yeah, I can see that stuff. And I realized this fell into the same category as Simple Syrup….it’s a kitchen staple and not everyone has the perfect formula for making this stuff. I do…so I’m sharing it with all of you….so, you, too, can drench everything in the world with a healthy dose of gooey caramel.
The process is fairly simple, you’ll melt sugar in a saucepan until it dissolves and then turns a deep amber color. Add a little butter, cream and vanilla being very careful not to burn yourself because it will bubble up violently. Then stir until smooth…and resist the urge to taste the warm, inviting, seriously molten lava that is your newly created caramel sauce. I’m speaking from experience. Now…let it cool a bit, THEN drench all.the.things.
The Very Best Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan, add the sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar is melted. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sugar turns a deep amber color being sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to avoid burning. This will take approximately 5-10 minutes. Carefully stir in the butter and vanilla. Continue stirring until completely melted. Slowly add the cream and continue cooking until smooth. Stir in the salt and remove from the heat. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature and then transfer to a jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks sealed tightly.
- When ready to use, heat slowly in the microwave in 20 second intervals stirring each time until liquid.