This past weekend was divine for apple picking in Ohio [see blog post, farm’s rec’s and apple crisp recipe here!] and so this week I’ve been knee-deep in red skinned fruits, trolling the internet for recipes with a ferocity I never had before (after all, a cook, I am not).
Funnily enough, it was at my local grocer where the idea struck me to make caramel apples. And then it struck me that the best way was probably over a stove top, of which I have not (long story). And then it struck me to chat up my new chef-extraordinaire friend, Nidhi (seriously, we don’t hang out unless it revolves around food and more often than not, sweat pants).
She is quite clever in the kitchen (trying to hide carrots in her pasta sauces) and knowledgeable about the sciences (like LED lighting, fresnel lenses and crystallizing sugar, things that are currently very useful in my professional and personal life) and so it was only logical to bestow upon her some of my apple booty and encourage her to fulfill my fantasy of homemade caramel.
Nidhi did a stellar job of outlining our night of sauciness on her blog, Nidhizzle.
A visual recipe, above, left to right: (1) Just sugar and water, stir baby stir. (2) Boiling, starting to turn the color we all love; no one like a blonde. Smells sweet and delectable, too. (3) Add the warm milk; wooo, sugar, milk and water make a mean, rolling boil. Why didn’t I ever do this in chemistry class? I feel robbed! (4) Add a pat of salted butter for thickening and in seconds it’s ready to (5) eat. YUM!
The process was quick-ish and easy and magical. And not nearly as dangerous as some bloggers would have had us believe (safety goggles and long sleeve shirts were unneeded albeit described as necessary gear). We mostly followed this recipe, although we skipped the vanilla extract and added milk along the way at the encouragement of another recipe. Basically, we made it up based on available ingredients and desire and voila, the caramel was seriously amazing.