Though it may not yet have been scientifically proven, there are things in this world that Nature simply meant to go together--like bagels and cream cheese, peanut butter and chocolate, french fries and ketchup and...apples and caramel. It's really a no-brainer. So, now that the season of the apple is upon us, it's time to get busy with this easy-to-make Salty & Sweet Honey Caramel Sauce. It's absolutely irresistible. And if you celebrate the Jewish New Year and are still procrastinating about what to serve for dessert, this is right up your alley. Only takes about 10 minutes to whip up and is guaranteed to start the new year off sweetly and happily!!
I pretty much love all caramel-related desserts and sauces, but I especially love the yin/yang of the salty vs. sweet thing going on here. As my daughter remarked, "This totally hits the bliss point!" It's amazing on its own as you lick it off your fingers and the perfect compliment to a slice of sweet crunchy apple!
If you've been intimidated by making caramel sauce by prior bad experiences (believe me, I've been there and there's nothing more upsetting or difficult to clean than burnt caramel), I urge you to try this version. But first we're going to make a little pact here. This only takes about 10 minutes to put together, but that means 10 minutes of your totally undivided attention--no texting, cleaning up the sink, throwing in a laundry, ok? And you need to line up all your ingredients so that they're right beside you and ready to be used at a moment's notice. Caramel is sort of like a high maintenance kid-give it all your love and attention and you'll be rewarded with something extraordinary that you can be super proud of!
To start, you combine the sugar and honey--
Then you boil them until the mixture darkens to a deep amber.
Meanwhile, you heat the heavy cream in a separate pot. As soon as the mixture looks right, you remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, eventually adding in the warm cream and salt and whisking until the mixture stops being frothy and starts looking like real caramel sauce--the transformation is fun!
You can serve this caramel sauce over ice cream or like I did as a dipping sauce for fruit, cookies, pretzels...your imagination is the only limitation!
And you can store it in a mason jar in the fridge for at least a month and spoon some out whenever you want. And that, my friends you will realize, once you taste this gloriously sticky, luscious silky-smooth stuff, is priceless!!
Salty & Sweet Honey Caramel Sauce
Makes about 1 pint
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Line up all your ingredients and have them ready beside you on the counter. Place the heavy cream into a small saucepan and heat it over a very low light, until little bubbles can be seen around the edges. Let the cream cook while you are working on Step 2 and then remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Use a heavy-bottomed medium sized saucepan, preferably with high sides, and place the sugar and honey into it. Stir them together and heat over medium heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Let the mixture boil for about 4-8 minutes, stirring every now and then, watching it very carefully until it turns a deep amber color. Swirl the pot around every now and then to prevent it from burning. As soon as you reach the correct color, immediately remove the pan from the heat.
3. Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Then add the heated cream and the salt and whisk until the mixture stops foaming and becomes smooth, like caramel. Be careful that it doesn't bubble up and burn you, especially if you have little kids nearby who want to help. Let the caramel cool for about 20 minutes, then pour into a mason jar or serve with a variety of dip-ins like cut-up apple slices, cookies, pound cake, pretzels, chocolate or pour over ice cream.
4. Store the sauce in a mason jar or an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 month. You can put some in a small pot and reheat over a low flame or heat in the microwave.
Note: Recipe adapted from Wintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman.