If you happen to have a candy thermometer, this will be a lot easier. If you don't, fill a glass with cold water, and periodically drop a small amount of caramel in the glass (you'll need to change the water each time you do). If the caramel turns into a ball when it hits the water, it's ready. If it swirls around in the cup, it's not ready. If it turns into a rock solid mass, you've probably cooked it too long...hurry and eat it before it solidifies!
And finally, I've always loved the combination of caramel and apples, but hated eating them on a stick. There's just no getting around the messiness factor. But slicing the apples and then dunking them in one at a time is not nearly as visually appealing. So my very wise friend Kate suggested dipping the entire apple in the caramel, letting it set a few minutes, and then, once you're ready to eat them, cut one large slice from each side of the apple, leaving the core behind, and you with a perfect coat of caramel. Yum.
Recipe from 101cookbooks.com
Pictures by Caroline
6 small apples, unwaxed*
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I actually used aluminum foil). If serving on a stick, push a lollipop or popsicle stick deep into each apple - in through the stem. Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with ice water and set aside.
- In a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan heat the cream and salt until tiny bubbles start forming where the milk touches the pan - just before a simmer. Stir in the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 15-20 minutes minutes or until the mixture reaches about 255-260F degrees (just barely in the hard ball stage).
- To stop the caramel from cooking, very, very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan in the bowl of cold water you prepared earlier. Stir until caramel begins to thicken up - you want the caramel to be thin enough that it will easily coat your apples, but not so thin that it will run right off. If the caramel thickens too much simply put the pot back over the burner for 10 seconds or so to heat it up a bit.
- Tilt your sauce pan so all the caramel forms a pool on one side, and use your other hand to dunk and twirl each apple until it is thoroughly coated with caramel.
- Place each apple on the parchment lined baking sheets and allow the caramel to cool and set.