Saturday, October 08, 2011

Homemade Caramel Apples

How to make caramel.  How does one make caramel?   Hmmm...

I've never done anything in the way of candy making - hard ball, soft ball, it all looks so complicated (and dangerous)!  But about a week ago the craving for a giant, juicy, walnut-festooned caramel apple became so strong that I had to do something about it.

So, sitting down at the computer, I came upon recipe after recipe consisting of either corn syrup, sugar, and condensed milk, or melted caramel squares.  So much for taking pride in cooking wholesome food, at least as far as caramels go!



But then, there it was.  My dream recipe.  It looked too good to be true...
But yes, that's what it really says... honey, cream, salt.  Apples... Why, that's my kind of health food!
Here goes -


Homemade Caramel Apples

6 - 8 small apples, unwaxed, chilled
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup honey

Special equipment: candy thermometer, lollipop sticks (lacking these, I used dessert forks)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (note: do not use wax paper! The caramel will melt it).
Push a lollipop stick or fork deep into each apple - in through the stem.
Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with cold water and set aside.

In a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan heat the cream and salt until tiny bubbles start forming where the milk touches the pan - just before a simmer. Stir in the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture reaches about 255-260F (hard ball stage) degrees. To stop the caramel from cooking, very, very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan in the bowl of cold water you prepared earlier - taking special care not to get any of the water in the caramel mixture. Stir until caramel begins to thicken up - you want the caramel to be thin enough that it will easily coat your apples, but not so thin that it will run right off. If the caramel thickens too much simply put the pot back over the burner for 10 seconds or so to heat it up a bit.

Like the original recipe recommended, I tilted my sauce pan so all the caramel formed a pool on one side, and used my other hand to dunk and twirl each apple until it was thoroughly coated with caramel. Place each apple on the parchment lined baking sheets and allow the caramel to cool and set.

Additionally, you may roll each dipped apple while still hot in a bowl of chopped walnuts - highly recommended! =)

Makes 6 - 8 caramel apples.


Use extreme caution when making caramel apples - you will be working with dangerously hot, sticky, ingredients. It is a good idea to put on an apron and wear closed-toed shoes when making candy. Be extra, extra careful if you have children around. When making these, I was not as careful as I might have been, resulting in a horrible burn on my hand - simply use a little caution! =)


The first batch were definitely not magazine worthy in their presentation - but the caramel was exquisite.  Perfect texture, color, taste, and aroma.  This recipe is amazing.  Local honey, local non-pasteurized cream (I skimmed it just before starting!)  and Redmond RealSalt, combined with fresh gala apples and walnuts make for one delicious and truly wholesome treat.

Enjoy!


Matilda Approves.

19 comments:

  1. Seems very well. Mmmmm...mjammie! I like your blog!

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  2. keren is absolutely correct: you and your blog are adorable.

    this looks very yummy!

    xo
    elyse

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  3. MMMMMMmmmmmmmm I'm going to ahve to give this a try!

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  4. Oh. My. Word.
    That looks sooooo good!
    Caramel is my one weakness;)

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  5. Hello Just coming over from FPTFY since Keren was so excited I just had to stop over....And you have quite the Adorable little home here.... Just signed up to follow.. I am not sure why my little picture box isn't showing up but you are coming over on my dashboard.... Looking forward to reading more of your post...
    Have a Blessed Weekend

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  6. Mmmmm! Those look delicious! I love the simple ingredient list as well!

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  7. THANKS FOR SHARING SHALOM!

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  8. thrilled your thrilled my dear! :)
    If you could email me at freeprettythingsforyou@yahoo.com to claim your prize would be wonderful! thank you!!
    xo,
    Keren

    PS
    I am SO sorry you burned your hand!
    Poor thing!

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  9. Walnuts are like an explosive mixture containing more than 20% H202 (hydrogen peroxide), 40% KNO3 (potassium nitrate), and 40% protons that have been neutralised via a 220 volt line running through two silver solenoids with a pinch of N04 added. Neither walnuts or the previously described mixture taste very good.

    ~Ani~

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  10. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    It looks delicious.
    Have a blessed Sunday.......

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  11. Thank you for all of the great comments! If any of you do make this recipe, I'd love to hear how it turned out for you!

    Tasha - I know... we will defiantly be making this together soon;D

    Ruby Jean - Thank you! I love your blog, and I'm so glad you visited!

    Keren - Will do... thanks again *so* much!

    And Ani. You are a perfect fount of knowledge...careful you don't strain anything;) And as proved by your enlightening comment, walnuts are awesome - so sad you don't approve of them.

    Thank you again, everyone, and have a beautiful Sunday!
    ~Kellie~

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  12. I am so happy I found your blog through FPTFY! I love it...it's so adorable as are you! Will be happily following along with you...
    :)

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  13. My bad. I said "protons" when I should of said "photons". And I got mixed up and accidentally said that they should be "neutralised" instead of "negatively charged" like they should be. And it wasn't N04 either. It should have been HNO3. My bad. And not a "pinch" of it. You would melt your fingers if you tried to add a "pinch" of it. Try adding a half litre of it instead. I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote the original comment. Probably got all mixed up since it was late at night. Anyway, hopefully no harm was done.

    ~Ani~

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  14. There you go, making our mouths water with your yummy-sounding recipes again! ;-) I'm surprised brown sugar isn't on the ingredients list--seems like that's one of the main things in caramel. Looks and sounds delicious, though. Perhaps we'll try it over here sometime....

    God bless,
    ~"Wild Rose"~
    P.S. I did get your e-mail; just need to answer it, wot?
    ~R

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  15. Kellie! Those look lovely! What a nice alternative to the corn syrup, etc. :D Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Yum! Maybe I shall try to make them!
    Your blog has been very encouraging to me! =D
    Have a lovely day!

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  17. Hey, how hard does this "caramel" stuff get? Do you think it would patch up my dirt bike muffler? I would hate to weld it and then not be able to take it apart, so if this stuff got hard enough to not get blown out by the exhaust, but not to hard that I can't take it apart, it just might work. What do you think?

    ~Ani~

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  18. Perhaps a non-edible, such as JB weld, would be more appropriate for your task at hand, Peppy...
    =D

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  19. Man, some people's children. Always trying to spoil other peoples' lives. You sure it wouldn't work? JB weld can be expensive. Caramel shouldn't be.

    ~Ani~

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