Citrus with salted caramel sauce

Total Time
35 min
5 min
10 min
Just a few minutes on the stove top turns a few everyday pantry staples into a decadent caramel sauce for assorted citrus. Sea salt and fresh lavender elevate the humble sauce to gourmet status. Culinary lavender has a short growing season from mid-June to early July. If you can’t find it, omit it or simply use fresh lemon thyme instead. In step 2, be very careful adding the water because it can spatter if you don’t pour it down the side of the pan. No fresh citrus? No problem. Sub apple or pear slices. Or try the sauce drizzled over vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt.



2 Tbsp




¼ cup(s)

Unsalted butter

1 tsp

Sea salt

¼ tsp, coarsely

Vanilla extract

¼ tsp


2 medium, navel seedless variety


1 large, ruby red seedless variety

Fresh lavender

½ tsp, finely chopped or lemon thyme (optional)


  1. Pour 2 tablespoons water into medium saucepan. Sprinkle sugar in even layer over water. Set over medium heat and cook, without stirring, brushing down side of saucepan with pastry brush dipped into cool water during first few minutes of cooking time. Simmer until caramel begins to turn light golden. Continue cooking, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup turns golden.
  2. Remove saucepan from heat. Wearing oven mitts to protect your arms from splatters, carefully pour 1/4 cup water down side of pan. Return saucepan to heat. Add butter and salt; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla and let caramel cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, cut away peel and pith from oranges and grapefruit. Cut 1/4-inch slice from stem and blossom ends of oranges and grapefruit and cut flesh into thin rounds. Arrange citrus on 4 plates, dividing evenly, and drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle each serving with pinch of lavender, if using.
  4. Per serving: about 5 slices citrus and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce