As our focus shifts from our ordinary everyday existence to holiday-themed-revelry, I thought you might appreciate a simple recipe that’s perfect for hostess gifting (or for squirreling away for yourself, if you’re not the revelry type). This sauce elevates an everyday dessert and transforms it into something with a seasonal flair. It’s equally at home over a scoop of vanilla as it is drizzled on a slice of poundcake. It’s transformative over a poached pear or baked apple. And if you’re so inclined, spoon some into your morning yogurt or oatmeal instead of honey.
Spiced cider and rum sauce. Yes. I know. It has the flavor and intensity of spiced apple cider with the luscious creamy mouth feel of a silky, buttery caramel. Oh, and there’s that hit of rum at the end.
It’s not difficult to make and there’s no candy thermometer required (love that). The cider reduction takes a little time, about 15-20 minutes to reduce the two cups of cider to about half a cup. And that’s where the fun begins.
Add a little sugar and corn syrup and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved and you have a crowning foam of cidery bubbles. Cream and butter add that luscious, velvety texture you want in a caramel-type sauce — and a little salt actually enhances those flavors.
Finally, after the sauce cools, stir in the rum. Adding it while it’s hot actually diminishes the rum flavor, so wait about 15 minutes or so before incorporating it. The mixture will thicken as it cools. I like to pack this into those cute half pint mason jars. Stick a bow on top and you’re ready for your neighbor’s holiday cocktail party.
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 allspice berries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons rum
- Add the cider, cinnamon, allspice and cloves to a small saucepan, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to moderate level and continue cooking to reduce the apple cider to about half a cup. Fish out the cinnamon stick, allspice berries and cloves and discard.
- Stir in the sugar and corn syrup and cook, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved and syrupy. Add the cream and stir to combine. Add one tablespoon of butter stirring until melted then add the second tablespoon of butter and salt. Stir until butter is melted.
- Let the sauce cool for 10-15 minutes then stir in the rum to taste. Serve warm or chilled over poached or baked apples or pears, or with ice cream, fruit tarts or any other treat that needs embellishment. Store in a glass or tupperware jar in the refrigerator.