GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - It's apple time and caramel apples are one of the sweet treats of the season that believe it or not, are easy to make! Twin Cities Chef Beth Wells joined us on KARE 11 News@4 and served up two variations. The first recipe uses store bought caramel and the other is from scratch.
Cheater’s Caramel Apples
4 bags (44oz) Caramel bits (found in baking isle of most commercial grocery stores)
¼ cup Heavy Cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups peanuts, chopped
10 Medium Apples (preferably from an orchard)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp baking soda
10 thin 6 inch wooden dowels
Start by washing your apples. Apples produce a natural wax coating as a method of preservation and some apples bought in the store have addition edible wax sprayed on. This wax is not harmful and is perfectly safe to eat but it will prevent the caramel from sticking to the outside of the apple. For this reason, you must scrub any wax from the surface of the apple.
To remove this wax, fill your sink with about 4 inches lukewarm water. Add 1 tbsp Lemon Juice and 1 tbsp baking soda into water. Add the apples and scrub using a fruit/vegetable brush until all wax is removed. Pat dry.
Fill a medium sauce pot with 1 ½ inch of water. Place a large bowl on top of the sauce pot and bring the water to a simmer to create a double boiler. Empty bags of caramel bits into bowl, add cream and salt. Wait 15 to 20 minutes for the caramel to melt, then stir all ingredients together. Insert 1 wooden dowel at least 1 inch into the top end of each apple. Dip apples into caramel. Once apple is coated, dip each apple into peanuts or your choice of topping.
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
In a small sauce pan, heat cream but do not simmer. In a separate heavy bottom sauce pan, add sugar. Add enough water just to wet the sugar, mixture should look like wet sand. Be careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pan as this will cause the caramel to crystalize later on in the process. Heat the sugar and water on medium heat and do not stir until the mixture is deep amber in color. Once color is achieved, whisk in warmed heavy cream and salt. Mixture can now be used as a warm caramel sauce or to coat an apple.
Chef’s note: This will make a fairly firm caramel recipe when caramel is cooled. To make a sauce that stays smooth when at room temperature, double the amount of cream used in the recipe.