I bet you’ll never guess the surprise ingredient that makes this Apple Cider Caramel Sauce a must-make fall dessert recipe!
Darlings, welcome to summer! Wait. It’s autumn. Definitely. Unless you take a look at the weather in the mid-Atlantic this week, then it’s summer. But one confused thermostat aside, it’s mid-September and time for all things Fall! This means of course, it’s time for all the apple things. And I’d like you to take this apple cider caramel sauce and move it right up to the top of your fall baking list. Not only will you want to drizzle it on All The Things, you’ll want some to top the next recipe on the blog. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk apple cider caramel sauce, okay?
So this isn’t a real caramel, ish. At least, it’s not made like a traditional caramel sauce in that you aren’t looking for any change in color, and the process is a little different. It’s more like making a butterscotch sauce or chocolate sauce. That being said, it means this is also a very easy caramel sauce recipe for a beginner since all you have to do is know how to work your kitchen timer.
The hardest part is being patient while your apple cider reduces to the correct volume. You definitely don’t want to rush this step because you want to have a nice, rich apple flavor. The more water in your cider, the more diluted the flavor, so just wait a few minutes while it does its thing and your house is filled with glorious autumnal smells. Of course, fresh local cider will always give you the best flavor. Thankfully, all the farm stands are selling now, so pick your favorite.
Store the sauce in the refrigerator up to a week, although it probably won’t last that long. This apple cider caramel sauce is an excellent use of 25ish minutes, and you’ll definitely want to whip up a batch ASAP, especially once you see what we’re making with it on Monday!
Oh, and before I forget… the surprise ingredient! It’s totally optional, and I’ve made the cider both with and without, but with it, it’s like The Ultimate Fall Caramel Sauce. Ready?… PUMPKIN SPICE! I stir just a little of the spice mix into the caramel after cooking and it adds such a gorgeous depth of flavor without getting too “pumpkin spice-y”, so it’s perfect. Skip it if you want, but you can totally thank me later if you do add it. 😉
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/8 tsp salt omit if you use salted butter
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice mix optional
Place the apple cider in a sauce pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the cider has reduced to a 1/4 cup.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, and then return to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly and then immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-proof container. Allow to come to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
To bring back to a drizzle consistency, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature 10 minutes, or microwave for 10 seconds.