I must confess that this recipe for Pumpkin Caramel Sauce actually came out of a fail when I tried to make these Salted Pumpkin Caramels. I guess I didn’t get the caramel heated high enough because the caramels never set and I was left with a sticky sauce even after hours of waiting. But what could have been a kitchen disaster turned into a glorious mistake because I’ve been using this caramel sauce to top several delicious fall desserts.
- 1/2 cup unsalted pepitas
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- dash of cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cups light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup good maple syrup
- 1/4 cup of water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in chunks
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Dry toast the pepitos in a skillet until they start to pop.
- In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, pumpkin puree, spices and salt. Get this mixture quite warm, but not boiling. Set aside.
- In a second heavy bottomed pan, with sides at least 4 inches high, combine the sugar, both syrups and water. Stir until the sugars are melted. Bring to a boil. Then slowly add the cream and pumpkin mixture, and slowly bring this mixture back to a light boil. Stir constantly for 15-20 minutes until the sauce becomes thick.
- Pull the caramel sauce off the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice. Stir vigorously so that butter is fully incorporated.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat in a double broiler before serving. (You could also reheat in the microwave in 15 second intervals until warm)
Serve over brownies or ice cream or use for Pumpkin Caramel Popcorn
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups pumpkin caramel sauce (depending on how caramel-y you like your popcorn)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 bags of popped popcorn (I used a naturally flavored popcorn not heavy on salt or butter)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Pop 2 bags of pop corn and place in a large bowl.
- Bring the caramel sauce to a boil, stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add in the baking soda and continue stirring to incorporate the soda. Remove from heat and pour half of the caramel over the popcorn. Using a large spoon, gently stir and toss the popcorn to cover it with the caramel. Then pour the second half over the popcorn and sit again until the popcorn is well covered in caramel.
- Place the popcorn onto the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Let cool to room temperature then serve. Caramel popcorn can be kept in an airtight container.