Some recipes make caramel seem intimidating by using thermometers and special water tests for doneness, but it really is just a matter of using your eyes to judge. When the sugar and water turn a, well, caramel color, you know it’s ready! Drizzle the caramel over ice cream, poached pears, apple strudel, or pie.
- 1Combine the sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until the sugar has completely dissolved. Continue to boil, swirling the pan occasionally (but not stirring), until the mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- 2Remove from the heat, carefully pour in the cream and vanilla (the mixture will bubble up and steam), and stir until evenly combined. Serve warm, or cool and refrigerate in a container with a tightfitting lid for up to 5 days. Reheat in a water bath or in the microwave.