This is a quick and easy caramel sauce, but be sure to use a 2 quart saucepan, the hot sugar syrup mixture will bubble vigorously (and dangerously), and a small pan could overflow. Despite the slight drama on the stovetop, the sauce is well worth the minor effort. It’s an incredibly smooth, rich, buttery caramel sauce that compliments any number of fall desserts. I recently made a batch to go with some rustic apple tarts and everyone raved that it was the best dessert ever. It’s also perfect to drizzle over warm bread pudding, or on a slice of Harvest Apple Cake.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
1. Place water in heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan; pour sugar in center of pan, taking care not to let sugar crystals adhere to sides of pan. Cover and bring mixture to boil over high heat; once boiling, uncover and continue to boil until syrup is thick and straw-colored (syrup should register 300 degrees on candy thermometer), about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until syrup is deep amber (syrup should register 350 degrees on candy thermometer), about 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring cream and salt to simmer in small saucepan over high heat (if cream boils before sugar reaches deep amber color, remove cream from heat and cover to keep warm).
3. Remove sugar syrup from heat; very carefully pour about one quarter of hot cream into it (mixture will bubble vigorously), and let bubbling subside. Add remaining cream, vanilla, and lemon juice; whisk until sauce is smooth. (Sauce can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)