Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pie crust into pie plate and bake for 8 minutes. Remove pie crust from oven and set aside.
To prepare the caramel pie filling, mix all ingredients through half and half in a heavy bottomed, 3-4 quart saucepan.
Cook over low to medium heat until the caramel has reached a warm golden brown color and has reached the 250º F on a candy thermometer, or the hard ball stage.
Remove from the heat, add vanilla extract, and beat until creamy with a wooden spoon.
Pour into prepared pie crust and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap onto the caramel portion of the pie and place into the refrigerator for 1-3 hours to overnight to allow the pie to firm.
When ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator and carefully remove the plastic wrap from the top of the caramel.
As the pie is resting, pour whipping cream and granulated sugar into a medium glass bowl. Whip until stiff peaks have formed in the whipping cream. Use to top the caramel pie.
Store pie in the refrigerator to keep the caramel firm.
Recipe by Cooking | Add a Pinch | Robyn Stone at http://addapinch.com/cooking/2012/11/14/caramel-pie-recipe/