Candy Apples 4 U and Me

 

So what exactly is a candy apple and where did it come from? Well, surprisingly, Newark, New Jersey is the place of origin and the year was 1908. William Kolk, a confectioner was experimenting with red cinnamon candy for Christmas and he dipped some apples into the leftover mixture. He put the brightly colored apples in the windows for display and they sold like hot cakes (or candy apples if you prefer that analogy). Soon candied apples were being sold not just in Jersey but up and down the East Coast (think Coney Island, circuses and carnivals) and in candy shops across the country. While the original coatings were sugar/candy based, caramel and chocolate topping soon became popular. The stick that’s almost always in the middle was there from the beginning and it obviously just makes them easier to eat.

With apples available year around you can make candy and caramel apples anytime. However, they are especially popular in the fall with apple festivals, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day. The recipes can swing from the ultra easy unwrap pre made caramels, melt them in the microwave and dip your apples to the use a candy thermometer and make your own caramel or candy coating.  You can, of course, make really elaborate apples by covering the coating with chocolate (white or dark), nuts, candy and anything else you can think of. Time and willingness to get up close and personal with a candy thermometer will determine what type of covered apple you make.

 I prefer to use tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith or MacIntosh but you can use any apple you happen to have handy. It’s important to remove the wax that might be on the apples you purchase from the grocery (the wax is used to help preserve the apple during shipping). Wash and dry the apple very well.

Some might say, hey, why go to the bother of making caramel apples when you can just buy them in just about any grocery store or gourmet candy store. My answer is: why pay a bazillion dollars for a mega apple or one that was made weeks ago when you can make your own ultimate apple for a fraction of the cost and ten times the taste?

GRENADINE CANDY APPLES (pareve)

I cut this recipe out of a House & Garden magazine in 1998 and have been using it ever since

6 red apples
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup grenadine syrup
2/3 cup light corn syrup

Place a large cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.

Insert a fork into the top of each apple. Combine the sugar, grenadine, and light corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, brushing down any crystals on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water. When the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil until the syrup reaches 285° on a candy thermometer, the soft-crack stage. Set the pan over-not in-boiling water. Working quickly, uses the forks to dip the apples, one at a time, coating them evenly with the glaze. Remove from glaze and twirl each apple so the extra syrup drips off. Set the apple on the cooling rack. When you have dipped all the apples once, repeat the process. Remove the forks.

Serve at room temperature. Best eaten within 24 hours. Makes 6.

OLD FASHION CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)

1 1-pound box dark brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup dark corn syrup

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon robust-flavored (dark) molasses

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 chopsticks

12 medium Granny Smith apples

Assorted decorations (such as chopped nuts, dried apricots toffee bits, mini M&M’s and candy sprinkles)

Melted dark, milk and/or white chocolates

Whipping cream (if necessary)

In a sauce pan combine the brown sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, molasses and salt.  Stir with wooden spatula or spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 15 minutes. Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan.  Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236, stirring constantly but slowly with clean wooden spatula and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into metal bowl (do not scrape pan). Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel; cool, without stirring, to 200, about 20 minutes.

While caramel cools, line 2 baking sheets with foil; butter foil. Push 1 chopstick into stem end of each apple. Set up decorations and melted chocolates. Holding chopstick, dip 1 apple into 200 caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. Place coated apple on prepared foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin. Chill apples on sheets until caramel is partially set, about 15 minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple; return to foil. Repeat with remaining apples. Firmly press decorations into caramel; return each apple to foil.Or dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week.

Modified from www.epicurious.com
BROWN SUGAR CANDY APPLES (pareve)

BEWARE the cooked syrup is very sticky can burn. Parental supervision suggested!
2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 to 1 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
6 to 8 apples with sticks (skewered)

Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and set it aside. Combine all ingredients except the lemon extract into a small, deep saucepan. Mix with a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the ingredients; place over medium high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Be sure that all the ingredients come to a boil and reach about 290° to 300° on your candy thermometer. Once the product has reached its set temperature, add the lemon extract and mix to combine. Dip the apples and place the dipped apples on the prepared pan. Makes 6 to 8.

RED CANDIED APPLES (pareve)

BEWARE the cooked syrup is very sticky can burn. Parental supervision suggested!

12 red delicious apples

12 wooden skewers

4 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp red food coloring

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup chopped peanuts

Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside. Wash and dry apples. Insert a stick through stem, leaving about two inches sticking out. In saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, food coloring and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until ingredients are dissolved and liquid boils. Set a candy thermometer in mixture and continue cooking, without stirring until temperature reaches 290 degrees, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile place chopped peanuts in a bowl. Remove syrup from heat and dip the apples, one by one, to coat evenly. Work quickly. As you dip each apple roll in peanuts to coat then place on prepared cookie sheet. Let apples cool for at least an hour. Makes 12

MARSHMALLOW CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)

1 package (14 oz) caramels

2 cups kosher miniature marshmallows (divided)

1 tbsp. water 5 or 6 small apples

1 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts

Wooden skewers

6 tart apples (granny smith or rome)

Line baking sheet with buttered waxed paper; set aside. Combine caramels, 1 cup marshmallows and water in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until caramels melt. Cool slightly while preparing apples. Rinse and dry apples. Insert skewers into apples. In a shallow bowl combine the remaining marshmallows and chopped peanuts. Dip each apple in caramel mixture, coating apples. Press the bottom of the coated apple into the marshmallow and peanut mixture. Place the apple on the prepared sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Makes 6

CARAMEL APPLE CRISP (dairy)

Tastes almost as delicious as a caramel apple on a stick but it’s hot and you eat it with a spoon.

1 cup orange juice

10 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

2 cups all-purpose flour 

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed

3 cups oatmeal, (old fashioned)

1 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or freshly ground nutmeg to taste) 

1 package (14 oz.) caramels, quartered

Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking pan with non stick cooking spray.

Mix together flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, and spices. Cut in* butter until mixture becomes crumbly. Press 1/2 of crumb mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan. Layer 1/2 of apples and 1/2 of quartered caramels over crumb mixture.

Sprinkle with 1 cup of crumb mixture. Repeat layer of 1/2 of apples and 1/2 of quartered caramels over crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture over top. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of orange juice and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.

Remove and drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice. Continue baking 25 minutes or until apples are soft and mixture is bubbly.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 2010 in review « Cuisine by Eileen

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