Last weekend, Eric and I went to a local orchard with our friends Amanda and Jordan. It was one of those quintessential fall days, and being at the top of a mountain picking apples only made it more so. We picked several apples of a few different varieties, but I’m most excited about the Albermarle Pippin ones because they were supposedly Thomas Jefferson’s favorite. I couldn’t bring myself to dip them in caramel, though, and decided to make these caramel apples with the Granny Smith variety instead. You’ll definitely be seeing more apple recipes from me in the near future.
I adore Halloween, and I couldn’t let this one pass without sharing at least one Halloween recipe. While caramel apples are delicious anytime, their decadence fits in well with all the candy and desserts floating around this time of year. This was my first time using honey to make caramel, and let me tell you – it was fabulous. I like honey and apples together already, and this combination just cemented that for me. The mild honey flavor comes through, making this caramel taste unlike any I’ve tried previously. These are relatively easy to make, but you have to make sure you get the caramel to just the right temperature so that it will stick to the apples. I originally planned to dip the finished apples in chocolate and roll them in nuts, but the caramel tasted so delicious on its own that I decided to only dip a few in chocolate.
Honey Caramel Apples
Makes 6-8 small apples
6-8 small apples, unwaxed, cold
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup honey
6-8 ounces chocolate, chopped
Line a baking sheet with a nonstick mat or parchment and set aside. Push a lollipop or popsicle stick deep into each apple. Prepare an ice bath and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and salt over medium heat until bubbles just begin to form around the edges. Stir in the honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture reaches 255-260ºF on a candy or infrared thermometer. Very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan into the ice bath and stir until caramel has thickened slightly. Take care not to get any water into the caramel. The caramel should be thin enough to coat the apples but not so thin that it drips right off. If it thickens too much, simply return it to the burner for a few seconds to heat it back up.
Tilt the saucepan to get all the caramel on one side. Dip each apple and swirl around until it is coated. Place on the prepared baking sheet to cool and set. Once the caramel has cooled, you can use your hands to mold any caramel that may have pooled around the edges before refrigerating to set completely. To make them especially decadent, let the caramel dipped apples chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before dipping in melted chocolate.
Source: Adapted from 101 Cookbooks