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Silky, buttery Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
Make all your apple-inspired desserts extraordinary with a drizzle of our warm homemade Apple Cider Caramel Sauce.
If you’re like me, you’ll be craving the intense flavor of this apple cider caramel sauce long after the jar is empty. It’s so luscious and delicious, you may find yourself buying extra apple cider as an excuse to make more! This apple cider caramel sauce is good on everything, so sorry about that 🙂
The consistency of our apple cider caramel sauce is smooth perfection; no grainy, sugary sauce here!
This is the creamiest, silkiest, most luscious caramel sauce ever to come out of the SRFD kitchen. If you can stop sneaking spoonfuls of this warm sauce then you’re a stronger person than I am!
I borrowed a brilliant step in the cooking method for caramel sauce from Cook’s Illustrated. First, pour 1 cup of water into a heavy bottom saucepan. Then granulated sugar is poured into the center of the water taking care to keep the granules away from the sides of the saucepan.
Next, the pan is covered with a lid and brought to a boil. Finally, uncover the pan and cook the caramel sauce until you reach the desired temperature. How simple is that!? This simple trick helps prevent any crystallization of the sugar onto the sides of the pan, keeping the sauce velvety smooth.
This incredibly simple recipe creates the silkiest caramel sauce I’ve ever made. We are over the moon for our apple cider caramel sauce and think you will be too.
This recipe starts with boiled apple cider.
Boiling apple cider evaporates most of the liquid in cider and concentrates the incredible, tart apple flavor into the remaining syrup. Once the apple cider is reduced from 2 cups to 1/4 cup for this recipe, all that’s left in an intensely flavored, thick syrup which is a terrific add-in for many recipes.
We’ve used boiled cider in our Apple Cider Caramels, Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts, and the most incredible Apple Cider Ice Cream we’ve ever had. Apple cider is already very flavorful but even more so when reduced and concentrated.
You can buy (pre) boiled apple cider from King Arthur Flour if you prefer to skip this step. However, making your own boiled cider is very easy. Just be sure to watch the cider and stir it occasionally during the process.
You’ll love the intense apple flavor and want to use it in everything you bake! And the aroma of boiled cider is fantastic 🙂
Apple cider caramel sauce will keep for up to a month when covered and stored in the refrigerator.
That makes this an easy make-ahead add-on for all your favorite fall desserts. Here are a few ideas for serving our apple cider caramel sauce:
- Drizzle a heaping spoonful over ice cream for an incredible treat.
- Spoon this luscious apple cider caramel sauce over your favorite fall-inspired cakes like this Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake, and our fresh Apple Cake.
- Warm a small bowl of apple cider caramel sauce and use it for dipping fresh apple slices. Talk about crazy good apple treats! Everybody loves caramel apples 🙂
- Serve with our Apple Bread Pudding, or as the base for a Caramel Apple Pie.
- Finally, don’t miss our delicious Apple Pie Bars that are perfect drizzled with caramel sauce!
- Sprinkle sea salt on the caramel sauce for an especially terrific salted caramel flavor.
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Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
- candy or instant read thermometer
- 2 cups apple cider (or 1/4 cup boiled cider) not apple juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
To make the boiled cider:
- Pour the apple cider into a large, heavy-bottom deep saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat and bring cider to a boil. Keep an eye on the cider to make sure it doesn’t boil over. The apple cider bubbles up quickly but will settle down after about 5 minutes of simmering. Boil until the cider is reduced to ¼ cup. Don’t let it get too thick or syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside. Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.
To make the caramel sauce:
- Pour the cream, salt, apple cider. cinnamon and nutmeg into a small heavy-bottom saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat while preparing the syrup mixture.
- Pour 1 cup of water into a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. Pour the sugar into the center of the pot taking care to keep the granules away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Cover the pan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Uncover and insert a candy thermometer and continue to boil until the mixture is thick, light golden brown in color, and registers 300°F. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the sugar is deep amber in color, almost begins to smoke and registers 350°F on the thermometer; about 5 minutes.
- While the syrup reaches the desired temperature, turn up the heat under the cream until it starts to simmer. If the cream simmers before the syrup reaches 350°F, remove it from the heat and set aside.
- Once the syrup reaches 350°F, remove from the heat. Add one-fourth of the hot cream to the sugar mixture. The mixture will bubble and spit. Allow the mixture to settle down then add the remaining cream. Once the bubbling subsides, gently whisk until smooth. Add the butter and whisk until combined.
- Transfer the caramel sauce to a heat-safe container, allow it to cool until just warm and serve. Caramel sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 month. Reheat gently in the microwave on 50% power until heated through.
- Cooking method adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
- This recipe makes 2 cups of caramel sauce