Sometimes it's just hard to have a fridge that's stocked with everything I need. Especially on those days when I just randomly thought, "Ooo, caramel sauce would be so good on *insert whatever I was craving*!"
While I can't satisfy all of my whims without making additional trips to the grocery store, I can avoid a trip or two if it's for a nice buttery caramel sauce (like for my Apple Crumb Cake)!
Plus, it's mostly dairy free and only requires 4 ingredients!
All you need is sugar, water, lemon juice, and butter.
Here's the 4 Ingredient Buttery Caramel Sauce!
- Over medium high heat, add the sugar and 3 Tablespoon of water into a sauce pan, over medium high heat.
- You could do just the sugar, however, I prefer wetting the sugar with some water (looks like wet sand) just so the sugar caramelizes more evenly.
- DO NOT STIR, or the sugar will crystalize. If you need to move the water or sugar around, just swirl the pan.
- You can have it on lower or higher heat, depending on how comfortable you are at controlling the heat. Just know that once the sugar starts to color, it changes fast.
- Add the lemon juice once the sugar dissolves.
- Lemon juice keeps the sugar from crystalizing. You could do the same by subbing equal amounts of sugar for clear corn syrup for the same effect.
- However, I still don't recommend stirring. You really don't need to, plus you'll end up with a sticky, hardened candy utensil.
- Once the sugar turns amber in color, add the ¾ cup of water.
- At this stage, sugar caramelizes very rapidly; 3 seconds can make a huge difference between the flavor profile of your caramel. Also, remember that when you add the second addition of water, the sugar is still hot and cooking, so you want to add water one shade before your desired level of caramelization.
- Be very cautious when you add the water. The sugar will bubble very violently for a few seconds.
- Once the sugar calms down a bit, put it back over medium heat. Stir the caramelized sugar and water with a rubber spatula until completely dissolved.
- Take the caramel sauce off the heat and stir in butter until completely incorporated.
- Use while it's fluid or refrigerate until needed.
Much love, ❤️
Buttery Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup water
- 4 Tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)
- Combine sugar and water. Over medium high heat, add sugar and 3 Tablespoon of water into a medium sauce pan. ***Do no stir. If need to, just swirl the pan.***Once the sugar dissolves, add lemon juice.
- Let sugar turn amber. Let the sugar water simmer until an amber color, about 10-15 minutes, depending your heat level. ***Once the sugar starts turning yellow, it can burn quickly, so don't walk away.***
- Add water and butter. Add the other ¾ cup of water immediately when the sugar turns amber. ***Sugar will bubble very violently for a few seconds.***Once the bubbling calms down, stir the sugar over medium heat until all dissolved. Take it off the heat and stir in the butter until thoroughly combined.
- Enjoy! Refrigerate or use while it is fluid.