brandy caramel sauce

How many of you out there went apple picking last weekend? I know it was a little warm around here, so I'm guessing if you haven't gone already, chances are you've got a date on the calendar to head to the orchard soon. Whether you walk the fields and pick your own or are a just-there-for-the-cider-brats-and-donuts kinda person, this dip can be a great addition to your visit. Consider packing a little assortment of dipping sauces, laying out a blanket, and having an apple-tasting right there under the trees. I mean, what's more fall than that?! And bonus, this can be made up to a week in advance so you have plenty of time to prepare.

One note, this is a caramel recipe which means that although the ingredients and instructions seems simple enough, it may still give you a hard time. My advice- patience. I was taking pictures between steps and at one point I thought I'd ruined the sauce. Nope! Just a few minutes on low heat got it right back to where I wanted it to be. It can be finicky, but it's nothing you can't handle. You got this! Recipe serves 4-6 grown-ups.

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp water

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp brandy


INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Place over medium heat and cook until the mixture begins to boil and turns a deep amber color, about 6 minutes. *Note, if you're using an electric burner it may take a couple minutes longer.

Add the butter to the pan and stir until it melts into the syrup. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add the cream, stirring constantly, until smooth. *Note, this baby may bubble up on you, so please use caution! 

Stir in the brandy. Pour the sauce into a heatproof jar and cool to room temperature. I had 4 oz jelly jars at home and the recipe fit perfectly into two of them. Half-pints would be just right too.

To serve, dip fresh apple slices into the caramel and sprinkle with flaky salt (Maldon or fleur de sel if you've got it). I used kosher salt and it was still great. The sauce can be made and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


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recipe adapted from Diana Yen & The Jewels of New York