Kids stuff

September 23, 2009

caramel appl

The wonderful autumn tradition of caramel apples brings out the kid in all of us. After all, who hasn’t sunk their teeth into a sticky, gooey, messy caramel apple at least once in their life?

I created the following recipe years ago for Gardening Life magazine and it’s still a favourite I pull out and use once every autumn, usually right after Oliver and I get back from Pine Orchard Farms where we pick apples every year.

Caramel Apples

6 unwaxed small granny smith, royal gala, Macintosh or other apples
Popsicle or lolli sticks
1 cup (250 mL) each granulated sugar and light brown sugar
3/4 cup (175 mL) 35 % whipping cream
1/4 cup (60 mL) corn syrup
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
pinch salt
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
Chopped nuts such as pecans, almonds or peanuts, chocolate sprinkles, etc

Polish the clean apples with a clean, dry dishtowel until completely dry and smooth. Insert a popsicle or candy stick into the stem end of each apple. Place a parchment lined baking pan in the refrigerator.

In a medium, deep, dry saucepan combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, whipping cream, butter, corn syrup and salt. Place pan over medium heat and stir often until sugar is dissolved and caramel is bubbling. If necessary, brush down the sides of the pan once or twice with water to dissolve any sugar crystals clinging to the sides.

Place a candy thermometer into the saucepan and increase the heat to medium-high. Boil caramel, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 240 F (115 C).

Remove the pan from the heat. Shielding hands with oven mitts, stir in vanilla. Let caramel stand with the thermometer in the mixture until the temperature falls to 200 F (100 C), from 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the baking sheet from the fridge. Place over a baking pan filled with ice cubes.

Dip and slowly turn the apples in caramel until coated all over. Transfer to the chilled baking sheet. Let stand while you dip remaining apples. Fold any caramel that pools under the apples. Dip coated apples into chopped nuts or candy sprinkles, pressing the garnished lightly into the bottom and up the sides of the apples; chill until set. Makes 6 servings.

When’s the last time you had a caramel or candy apple?