This rich, decadent caramel sauce, with a hint of tart apple flavor, is so good. And so surprisingly easy to make! It’s amazing how a little heat can transform sugar into liquid gold. Science, you are delicious. The result, when combined with cream, a little butter, and apple cider, is pure autumn magic.
How could you use this sauce? I think the better question is, how couldn’t you use this sauce? Make a batch and have it ready to pour on:
- Ice cream
- Cakes and cupcakes
- Waffles, pancakes, crepes, or even a piece of toast
- This season’s bounty of apples
- Pizza (Kidding! Unless it’s a dessert pizza…)
Or you could wait until Thursday for the recipe for a particularly tasty treat that would be perfect drizzled with this silky smooth caramel sauce.
To make it, you’ll need a saucepan and a microwave-safe measuring cup, a whisk, and a wooden spoon. Heat the cream in 20 second bursts in the microwave until it’s hot, then set it aside. In the saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water, and place it over high heat. Stir it constantly until it reaches 360°F and the sugar magically turns into a deep amber liquid. Seriously, science is amazing.
Remove the pan from the heat, and very slowly pour in the hot cream. If you pour it too fast, you risk the sugar re-crystallizing, or bubbling up so much that you’ll have a giant mess on your stove. And sugar burns are the worst, so do be careful (don’t ask me how I know). It will bubble and sizzle, but once you start stirring it with a wooden spoon, it will become a rich, smooth sauce. Heat it for another minute to make sure everything is combined, then cool it before adding the apple cider.
The result is a sauce that is perfectly pourable, sweet but with a hint of tart apple flavor that makes it perfect for all of your fall and winter baking. It keeps in the fridge (heat it if it thickens), and it is so much richer and delicious than anything you’ll get in a jar from the store.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons apple cider
- Heat the heavy cream on 20 second bursts in the microwave until it is hot.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Place the saucepan over high heat and stir the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring, and using a candy or digital thermometer to measure the mixture’s temperature, wait until it reaches 360°F and turns a deep amber.
- Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly pour in the hot cream. It will bubble and sizzle - don’t worry! Use a wooden spoon to stir the caramel, making sure to stir up any bits that harden on the bottom.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat and stir it gently for one minute, until it is smooth and fully combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat again and stir in the butter. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then stir in the apple cider. Once the mixture is warm but not hot to the touch, pour it into a sealable container and use it to drizzle on ice cream, muffins, scones, or whatever you like.