Vanilla Bean and Fleur de Sel Caramel

  • Servings: 2 cups
  • Prep time: ~ 5 minutes
  • Cook time: ~ 10 minutes


  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup spring water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hand Harvested Fleur de Sel

After enjoying the delicious, homemade caramel apple given to our family over the holidays, I have been craving caramel desserts. My husband found this vanilla bean and fleur de sel caramel recipe on the Food and Wine site and said it had my name all over it and we had to try it.

Luckily, we have plenty of Hand Harvested Fleur de Sel around to make this recipe. I have been told you can add  our Rosemary with a hint of Lavender too and it is wonderful on an apple tart.  When I get the recipe, I will try it but not with the vanilla bean.

We used some of the caramel to make a Gingersnap, Pear Cheesecake Trifle for Christmas Eve. The rest we used to create holiday drinks.  Add a 1/2 cup of caramel to 3 cups of heavy cream and some rum to make a Hot Toddy that tastes like Bailey’s Irish Cream. They were a big hit. We added a little too much rum though!

You can use this caramel to pour over an ice cream sundae, pound cake, Butterscotch Pots de Creme with Caramel Sauce, Caramel Apple Parfaits, or even drizzle over popcorn.


1. Put the sugar in a large saucepan and pour the water all around. Add the vanilla bean and seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. (As you can see below, we did not use a wet pastry brush.) Cook without stirring until a deep-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Gently swirl the pan to color the caramel evenly.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream. When the bubbling subsides, bring the sauce to a boil and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the hardened caramel is dissolved.

4. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the fleur de sel and let cool.

Recipe from Food and Wine.

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