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This was a real hit at last Saturday's event.
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 30 min
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise (I used about ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean)
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a small heavy saucepan, then add pod and wine. Boil over moderate heat until wine is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Discard pod.
While wine is reducing, bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals on side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup turns pale golden. Continue to cook caramel, swirling pan, until deep golden.
Remove from heat, then carefully pour hot wine down side of pan (caramel will vigorously steam and harden). Simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter and serve warm.
Makes about 1 1/4 cups, for 8 servings as an accompaniment
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