Homemade caramel sauce with the tart flavor of fresh apple cider. It’s the perfect topping for pies, ice cream, and more!
This time of year I always have a jug of really good, quality (and preferably local) apple cider in the fridge. We warm it up with some spices on chilly mornings, put it in cocktails, and enjoy it just as it is all fall long.
Now that I live in rural Moab, Utah, getting my cider fix is a little more difficult. But you can bet that whenever I travel north to visit the city I always make a stop at my favorite orchard for a box of honey crisps and a few gallons of the good stuff.
This caramel sauce is easy— no candy thermometer needed! All you need is a spare 30 minutes, a pot, and a spatula. By appearances this sauce looks just like any other caramel sauce, but just wait till you taste it. It’s got a tartness from the boiled down apple cider, and I just can’t wait to spoon it over a piece of apple pie come Thanksgiving.
Other uses for this amazing caramel sauce— drizzle it over ice cream, spoon it on your pancakes, use it as a dipper for apple slices, spread it over a wheel of brie cheese and bake it, add it to a hot toddy or wassail, or just spoon it straight into your mouth. Basically, you can’t go wrong!
baking tip:Apple Cider vs. Apple Juice
Cider is raw, fresh apple juice that hasn’t been filtered and is often unpasteurized. It has a shorter shelf-life but a fresher, earthier taste. Apple juice, on the other hand, is oftentimes heavily processed and sweeter. I always seek out fresh apple cider for both recipes like this and more drinking, but if I can’t find it, Simply Apple juice is a very good substitute.
Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups (500 ml) quality apple cider
- 1 cup (215 grams) light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup (125 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (to taste)
- In a medium saucepan set over medium high heat, bring apple cider to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and cinnamon and simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt to taste. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Reheat in the microwave.