So, we are in the midst of prime apple-picking season and I can’t wait to get out there and load up on apples of all varieties! Apple-picking is probably my favorite Fall activity, aside from cooking and baking the picked apples! Do you have a favorite apple variety? I think my all-time fave is the Pink Lady- so versatile, sweet, and crisp.
No matter what your favorite type of apple is, today’s recipe will be a delicious compliment to ANY fresh orchard apples you load up on this Fall. This Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce combines classic sweet, salty caramel with seasonal flavors of pumpkin and spice. It’s so good, you could just eat it by the spoonful! But, I recommend saving at least a LITTLE bit to use as an apple dip!
My Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce is also dairy-free, Paleo, and AIP-friendly! I like to make a batch of this sauce and keep it on hand to use as a dip with fruit, a sauce over my recent Cinnamon Spice Ice Cream, or as a topping for cakes and pies. I guarantee that this won’t be the last time you see Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce here on the blog! 😉
Before I continue to the recipe, a brief note about this and other autoimmune protocol (AIP) sweets I post:
A lot of the recipes I’ve been making recently are tagged as “AIP.” For anyone who is currently on the AIP diet, like myself, just be aware that recipes like my Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce are AIP treats and not something you want to be eating daily. The purpose of going on AIP is to significantly reduce sweets in your diet so that your body can heal and recover from autoimmune issues. So, use this recipe and other AIP desserts in moderation. The good news about this Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce is that a little goes a long way!
Okay, back to the recipe!
While making this caramel sauce is a labor of love (much like a good risotto), it’s SO worth the effort! It’s easy to make, but just requires about 20 minutes of uninterrupted stirring and keeping an eye on it as it bubbles and thickens on the stove. The more water in your can of coconut milk, the longer it will take to reduce, so make sure you use full-fat coconut milk out of a can and not light coconut milk or the kind in a carton!
Since I’ve made my fair share of coconut milk-based caramel sauces in the past, I will say that the canned pumpkin in this sauce not only adds a unique Fall flavor, but it helps thicken the sauce more quickly than if you left it out. Usually, it takes me 30-40 minutes to cook up a thick dairy-free caramel. The pumpkin cuts that time down by at least 10 minutes!
Once you’ve stirred your way to thick, creamy caramel sauce, you’ll add in the coconut oil and sea salt at the end. I used a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in mine and I liked it, but reduce this amount to 1/4 teaspoon if you like your salted caramel a little less salty.That’s it! You should be looking at a rich, thick, amber-colored sauce that tastes like caramel and pumpkin pie all in one. As a reward for all that stirring, grab some apple slices and give them a dip in your warm Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce.
Or, get a little messy and plate up a bunch of apples and drizzle caramel sauce all over them like I did! Makes a fun after-school treat or a simple, delicious dessert when you don’t feel like baking!
To store any pumpkin caramel leftovers, keep the sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator. You’ll notice it thickens a lot as it chills – almost like a pudding! (That’s due to the coconut milk and coconut oil setting up in the fridge.) If you want a thinner consistency, simply microwave the sauce or cook it on the stove and it’ll thin right down again.
Friends, I look forward to hearing about your favorite ways to enjoy this Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce – whether it’s on apples, brownies (especially my Flourless Fudge Brownies), or something totally different! For now, I’ll be doing some experimenting of my own with more Fall treats that might feature this sauce! Until next time!
- 1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- ½ a 15-ounce can of pumpkin
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In a saucepan, whisk together coconut milk, pumpkin, honey, cinnamon, and ginger. Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Allow to bubble and simmer for 20 minutes, or until mixture thickens and reduces.
- Remove from heat and stir in coconut oil and sea salt. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
~Sauce will get very thick in the refrigerator, but just warm it up to thin it down again. I reheated mine in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.