You may know by now that I have an apple tree. Now, when you have a fruit tree, there is no such thing as moderation. Buckets of fruit come at you all at once, and your brain races with ways to use the delicious gifts from Mother Nature. It becomes an obsession!
We also have a plum tree, and despite my best intentions, I really failed in rising to the occasion for the plums. So I vowed that no apple would go untouched this fall!
Charlie and I went to a neat place in Vernon called Davidson Orchards. They have the BEST caramel apples. However, they are loaded with caramel and (in Charlie’s case), coated with chocolate candy. He took three bites and was done. They are delicious but very sweet!
I thought I would try my hand at making my own caramel apples, with a lighter coating of caramel to make them a bit healthier. I didn’t feel like going shopping just for the sticks, so Charles made me some branch sticks that I LOVED! So authentic! You just need to find some skinny branches that are still stiff enough to hold the apple, whittle the end until it is sharp and poke it in the top of the apple before dipping it in the caramel sauce.
Making candy is a bit tricky (caramel falls in this category). Make sure that you follow the recipe to the letter, as your caramel can crystallize easily or your sugar can over cook (ahem, this may have happened to me). It’s worth reading about how to make caramel first.
Alternately, you can skip this step and use pre-made soft caramels: just melt 350g of soft caramels with 2 Tbsp. of water in a small heavy saucepan over low heat and dip!
You can sprinkle each apple with a bit of sea salt or chopped pecans if you wish!
- 9 apples, washed and dried
- 9 sticks or apple branches
- 1 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. light corn syrup
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Place a stick or branch with a sharpened end into the top of each apple. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on the counter.
- Mix the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small bowl, stir to combine, and carefully transfer the mixture into a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Put your spoon down at this point, no more stirring! Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Continue to cook the mixture, swirling the pan occassionally, until it is a light-medium amber colour. If you notice any sugar crystals on the side of the saucepan, take a wet pastry brush and wash down the sides of the pan (these crystals could otherwise make the caramel turn into sugar later when cooled). The candy thermometer will read 325F when done.
- Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream, butter, vanilla extract and sea salt. Transfer the mixture into a small but tall bowl (best for dipping) and let it cool until it thickly coats the back of a spoon.
- Dip each apple into the caramel to coat, let the excess drizzle off, and place onto the parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining apples and cool before eating.