June 7, 2009

HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?



EVERY YEAR MY GIRLS AND I PREPARE A BATCH OF CARAMEL APPLES TO HAND OUT TO TEACHERS AND STAFF ON THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL. WE'VE BEEN EXPERIMENTING WITH VARIOUS RECIPES, BUT THIS YEAR WE FINALLY FOUND A KEEPER, COMPLIMENTS OF OUR FRIENDS AT DIVINEDINNERPARTY.COM (CHECK THEM OUT). THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS RECIPE IS THAT THE CARAMEL CAN ALSO BE PUT IN TO A MASON JAR AND SAVED IN THE REFRIGERATOR TO REHEAT FOR SENSATIONAL ICE-CREAM TOPPING. AFTER REMOVING FROM HEAT, YOU CAN STIR IN SOME DARK RUM FOR A KNOCK-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF CARAMEL RUM SAUCE ~ YOU HAVEN'T HAD APPLE PIE 'TIL YOU'VE HAD APPLE PIE WITH CARAMEL RUM SAUCE!




CARAMEL APPLES 
WITH REAL HOMEMADE CARAMEL
adapted from divinedinnerparty.com

This caramel apple recipe makes enough caramel for about 8 to 10 medium sized apples. I  recommend Fuji apples for the perfect combo of tart and sweet and lovely color.



Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter 

2 cups dark brown sugar, packed 
1 cup light corn syrup 
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
8-10 medium-sized apples, washed, thoroughly dried, sticks inserted in tops


Tools:  Candy thermometer

Instructions:

1. In a heavy saucepan, over medium-high heat, stir together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Insert candy thermometer into the mixture as it cooks.

2. Cook for approx. 30-40 minutes without stirring, until the caramel darkens and thickens. It should reach the "firm ball" stage of candy-making (245 degrees).


3. Remove finished caramel from the heat and s
tir in vanilla extract.

4. Dip apples into hot caramel. In order to get as thick a caramel coating as possible, dip each apple at an angle and rotate within the caramel.


5. Pull apple out and allow excess caramel to drip off. Then turn the apple right-side-up  (apple on top, stick on the bottom) and let the caramel settle for a few seconds. This prevents large bare spots at the top of the apple.


6. Place apples on greased wax paper, parchment, or a silpat to cool and set.


Here are some ideas to make your apples extra special and extra decadent:

Once the apples have cooled and set, melt a small bowl of high quality chocolate.  Dip the bottom portion of apple in melted chocolate, then dip in a bowl of nuts, candy pieces, sprinkles, coconut, or cookie crumbles.

To really go whole-hog, melt some high quality chocolate and place in a sturdy ziploc bag. Snip tip to create a pastry bag. Drizzle chocolate across apples in a cross-hatch pattern.

Once chocolate has solidified (you may want to give them a quick set in the fridge), you can wrap your apples. I like to use large squares of cellopane gathered up around the apple and secured with a twist tie. Then, I add a ribbon to finish off the look. I find that the cellophane square works better in the wrapping and unwrapping than do cellophane bags.

CARAMEL CORN

You can make the best darn homemade caramel corn by reheating your caramel till pourable. Set your oven to 300. Make up a batch of popcorn and spread it out on an ungreased cookie sheet. Drizzle with hot caramel, liberally. Place in oven. After 10 minutes, "toss" popcorn with a spatula sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to help coat the kernels with the caramel that has melted to the bottom of the sheet. Return to oven for 8-10 more minutes. Caramel will darken slightly and corn will be crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.


1 comment:

  1. Those look delicious. I love caramel apples, my sister does too. I don't think I've ever had real homemade ones before though. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy hearing from you! Thank you so much for taking the time to be part of the creative and positive spirit here at Rook No. 17! xoxo Jenn

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