Fall is almost here! It doesn’t start until September 22 (Google tells me), but school is in session and it’s hard not to notice that the mornings here in southern Michigan are a bit nippy at 7 AM. Bring on the comfort food.
Sometime last year amidst the crazy of major life changes, a whopper of a flu season and our preparation for moving, I felt the need to incorporate some dessert sauce recipes into my life. Today I am featuring the delicious caramel sauce that saw me through a couple rough months last year. Perfect with apple slices, poured over ice cream, mixed into your morning oatmeal, or just by itself on a spoon. It has concentrated flavor, so if you can exercise restraint, a little caramel can go a long way.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated until warm
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Measure sugar into a heavy saucepan of medium capacity. Pour syrup and water carefully on top, making sure the sugar is completely moistened.
Heat on medium to high heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring as necessary with a silicone spatula to avoid sugar burning to the bottom of your pan. Avoid splashing grains of sugar onto the sides of the pan, since they may result in the caramel re-crystalizing later. When the syrup is at a rolling boil, stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber. Quickly remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel. It will bubble up rapidly and create a lot steam, so keep your face back!
Stir the mixture until homogeneous, pulling the thicker caramel on the bottom up to the top to make it smooth. If you notice lumps, some of the sugar has re-crystallized, so return the pan to the heat and stir until they fully dissolve. Stir in the butter and salt until the caramel is again uniform in consistency.
Allow the sauce to cool for 3 minutes, then stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into a glass jar while it is still warm and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave to make it pourable, if necessary.
Settle in for a yummy snack with some good reading material! Today is going to be better than you think.