Apples with Spiced, Spiked Honey Caramel
Whichever kind of honey you use to make this sauce, make sure you love it. It will be the predominant flavor, so if it’s not your favorite honey, then this caramel won’t be either. The sauce is quite loose at room temperature and spreadable if it has been chilled. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.
12 ounces honey
1 vanilla bean
16 ounces heavy cream
1 stick cinnamon
2 ounces butter
1–2 tablespoons whiskey
Apples for slicing and dipping
Place the honey in a stainless steel or copper saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a paring knife and put the seeds and pod into the pot with the honey. Heat over a medium-high flame, stirring occasionally, until the temperature on an instant-read thermometer reaches 295 (or until the honey starts to smoke slightly).
While the honey cooks, place the cream in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick and heat until boiling. Remove pan from the heat and set aside.
When the honey is done, slowly pour the hot cream (and the cinnamon stick) into the pan. It will sputter and spatter, so you might want to wear a glove to protect your hand.
Cook the mixture until it reaches 225 degrees, stirring constantly. Add the butter, and stir until melted and fully incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat, and immediately pour the caramel into a bowl. Cool until just barely warm, and then stir in the whiskey. How much you add is entirely up to you. I don’t judge.
At this point you can remove the vanilla bean pod and the cinnamon stick. Or just go ahead and leave them in there. It looks pretty, and since you’ll be dipping things in the sauce, and not pouring it over anything, they won’t really get in the way.
To serve, core and slice several apples and dip the slices into the sauce.