I read Heidi’s blog 101cookbooks.com religiously. I love her photography, use of words and creative food combination utilizing natural ingredients. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I saw a beautiful shot of caramel apples on her site the other day.
Prior to reading her recipe I had not given much thought to making this glorious Halloween treat. The idea of high fructose corn syrup and other weirdly engineered ingredients was somewhat off putting. And I must confess, the notion of eating pure heavy cream and agave still is, however, I think the boys will be able to handle it (once or twice per year) and will completely relish the novelty of this overly sweet, dairy laden treat.
Now, since I do not own a candy thermometer, nor do I keep lollipop sticks in the house, I decided to make my own easy (read lazy) version of caramel apples.
The boys had my first test batch for dessert, dipping apple slices in home made caramel and loved it. I stayed up and made another test batch after I put them to bed, indolent, yet unable to let go of Heidi’s caramel apple perfection. I wanted caramel that set. And I wanted it the easy way. Alas, it was to no avail, so I reluctantly settled for this “apples dipped in caramel” recipe.
- Heat agave in a saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edges --a very low simmer
- Continue heating agave this way for 5 minutes (reduces water content of the agave)
- Add heavy cream and salt, then bring mixture to a boil
- Reduce heat to an active simmer (Heidi's words); continue to simmer actively for 7-10 minutes :-)
- Remove mixture from heat when the caramel reaches a darker nutty color
- Place saucepan in a large bowl of ice water to cool and thicken caramel
- Place a large bowl of apple slices on the table
- Provide an individual ramekin of caramel to each of your hungry little ghosts and goblins
- Wash their hands with a wet rag before they leave the table
I hope you find this shortcut useful and that your little ones enjoy lapping up this luscious treat.