Boiling the cider down does take a little while, but the rest of the caramel comes together in less than ten minutes. What you’re left with is the essence of apple all wrapped up in a gooey, buttery, caramel sauce just waiting to be drizzled on pretty much anything sweet.
2 C apple cider
¼ C heavy cream
3 T unsalted butter
2 C dark brown sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring the cider to a moderate boil (ie: vigorous bubbles, but nothing that looks like it’s foaming up). Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. You are finished when you have ½ C of reduced cider left.
Over medium heat, add brown sugar, butter, cream, salt and cinnamont to reduced cider. Stir to combine and boil for 4-6 minutes or until the temperature reaches 230° F on an instant read or candy thermometer.
When the mixture reaches 230° F, remove from heat add vanilla and stir to combine.
Let cool slightly and serve warm or room temperature. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools – so if you’re reheating leftovers, just zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds to loosen things up.
Gather the rest of your ingredients while you cider reduces. Yes, I know it seems like you have forever until the cider is ready to become caramel, but when the time does come, things move very quickly, and having everything already measured out and good to go is a definite plus.
Add the vanilla off heat. Vanilla is actually really delicate, and if the caramel is still boiling when you add it, it will simply dissapate into the air.
Remove the caramel sauce from the pot quickly. Because heavy bottomed pots tend to conduct heat very effectively, it also means they stay hot for quite a while – which means your caramel will continue to cook as it sits (which can result in a firmer setting sauce than you might like). I like to pour mine (CAREFULLY) into a large glass bowl or measuring cup. Just make sure whatever you use is heat proof.
Keywords: caramel sauce, apple cider recipe, apple cider recipe, holiday dessert