My Favorite Caramel SauceMy Favorite Caramel Sauce


  •  1/2 cup water
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  1 cup heavy cream
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  •  3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste*
  •  1/2 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. In a 2-quart heavy-bottomed sauce pan,** add the water.
  2. Add the sugar to the center of the water. Don’t get sugar on the sides of the pot, or it will get all crusty and make your caramel not smooth. (If you do get some on the side, use a pastry brush to wipe the sides and remove the crystals before they harden.)
  3. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Use a lid if you want it to go faster, but stay close by, you need to start timing once it reaches a boil.
  4. Once boiling all across the surface, set a timer for 7 minutes. If you have one, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  5. Boil until the syrup is thick and straw-colored. It should reach about 300 degrees. This ended up taking more like 9 minutes for me.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and continue boiling until syrup is a deep amber color, and reaches about 350 degrees, 1-3 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, add cream to a glass measuring cup and microwave for about 1-2 minutes, until it is hot. Keep warm until ready to add to caramel.
  8. Remove the syrup from heat when it is deep amber. Carefully pour about a quarter of the cream into the pot and stir. Be careful, it’s going to bubble up and pop!
  9. Wait for the bubbles to calm down, then add the remaining cream, in increments if you want. Stir it together.
  10. Add salt to taste, vanilla, and lemon juice, and whisk until sauce is nice and smooth. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Sometimes I throw it in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the cooling.
  11. Store covered in the fridge for at least two weeks. Maybe longer, I wouldn’t know.
  12. Eat with ice cream, cake, or cobbler! Actually the options are pretty endless. Fingers work great with this sauce.
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