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Homemade Caramel Sauce

Use this recipe as a topping for our Pain Perdu, Meringue Cups, and Almond-Polenta Cake.

  • Yield: Makes 2 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2003


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stir sugar and the water until sugar has dissolved. Without stirring, cook until dark amber, about 20 minutes; wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming.

  2. Reduce heat to low. Carefully add the cream in a steady stream; stir with a wooden spoon when bubbling subsides. Add vanilla bean and scrapings; stir in lemon juice and butter. Remove from heat; discard vanilla pod before serving.

Cook's Notes

Sauce can be refrigerated up to one week. Before serving, let it come to room temperature or gently reheat.

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