Certain foods have major seasonal memory triggers. For me, nothing says “Hey – wake up! Fall is here and you are going to miss it if you don’t eat me soon!” like a caramel apple. So, Offspring No. 1 and I decided to make a batch this weekend. Which means I boil a bunch of sugar while he sits on a stool naming things that would be better if dipped in caramel. Which is everything, including lego. Also, No.1 now understands the difference between ‘carmelizing’ and making caramel, though he maintains that it is cruel to say one is caramelizing onions when, in fact, there is zero caramel involved.
We used 8 medium-ish granny smith apples and a very basic caramel (recipe is below). Results are delicious!
Caramel (for the dipping of things)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until a little darker than honey in color. While pan is still over heat source, add cream (mixture will hiss scarily and boil up in a violent but awesome manner). Add vanilla and salt. Stir a little bit and let simmer until candy reaches soft ball stage. Remove from heat and cool for at least 10 minutes before commencing to dip.