Just because I live in the middle of nowhere doesn't mean I have to eat like it!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Caramel Apples

So there we were sitting at the coffee shop/wine bar when the owners ask if we want to come over and hang out that evening. They had some hard to get brews from the Twin Cities and they love to share good brews...  We said sure and told them to give us a call when they were ready and we'd follow them out to their house.

I had to make something!!!  I have had the itch to make homemade caramels for a while and Abbie always talked about making caramel apples so I ran with that idea.  I also figured I had everything at the house to make it. I was mostly right...

I set out on Google for a recipe, searching for 'homemade caramel apples' or 'scratch caramel +apple', FAILURE. Nearly every recipe that came up was for a crisp/cobbler or it used Kraft Milkmaid Caramels that come individually wrapped and you just melt in a double boiler. Not my style...

I checked out Alton Brown's Food Network site and he didn't have any up so I just checked out food network in general. A couple promising cooks showed up and I checked their recipes out, KRAFTed again... One more recipe at FN before going to epicurious or cooks.com, BINGO, one to try from How to Boil Water. :) Thinking back... there is probably a recipe in one of the many real books I have in the kitchen but who wants to look through those?

THE RECIPE ... I did not have any heavy cream and half and half would not hold up to the heat so I asked Abbie to head back to the store while I got started on dinner and the other ingredients for the caramel. I also asked her to get more apples in case we liked the recipe we could make more for our get together tomorrow. She set off and got the stuff then I was cooking or so I thought.  The recipe calls for Maple Syrup. I had maybe two tablespoons. Improvise- you went to culinary school... Molasses time! I used 1/2 cup of molasses instead of the full cup of syrup and they turned out awesome!

I thought a 2.5 quart sauce pan would work. NO IT WOULD NOT! Things bubbled over a little bit and I smoked up the house. Luckily it was a nicer day outside compared to what we had in the beginning of the week and I could open a window, the back door and set up a fan to get some air circulating. Now I know to use the 6 quart pan despite it being overkill.

Other things to note: Sil-pats are amazing! If you need new baking sheets, make sure there is a Sil-pat to fit it. The recipe also says 8 apples.  I made 11 and had left over for another 1 or 2.
The caramel was very sticky. If you have old fillings or orthodontic work, don't bother! We were cutting the apple and caramel off the core/sticks and the caramel was sticking pretty good to our teeth.


  1. Can't believe you had a hard time finding a scratch caramel apple recipe. Hit it first try:
    Just a matter of making caramel to soft-ball stage instead of hard-ball stage -- gotta have that candy thermometer!

    They threw me with "bain marie" tho -- who'd know it was just a double boiler; or a big pot of hot water to keep the caramel hot while you're dipping apples? duh!

    I can picture your smaller pan bubbling over. I once tried to make a double recipe of 7-minute-frosting without a double size pan. Ken's birthday, a few months after we were married -- a surprise party planned! Sent him out on a bogus errand so I could get the cake frosted. With my extra heavy duty electric mixer gripped in both hands I spun the cooking sugar syrup and egg white mixture into a frothy white mass which was rapidly expanding up and over the sides . . . Panic!! I yanked out the mixer -- WITHOUT turning it off.

    Frosted the stove, the walls, the ceiling and me. Had plenty left over for the cake!

  2. You know I never mentioned how the apples turned out. They came out a bit rich but were very enjoyable and worth the effort of messing with sugar!

    Thanks for stopping by!:)