Sunday, November 23, 2008
Gourmet Dipped Apples
Have you seen these? They are offered on every upscale gourmet website and in every posh overpriced catalog imaginable. The average price for these beauties is $10 each. I am of the, "Why buy it when you can make it?" camp and I can imagine that my Scottish ancestors would rise up and haunt me if I actually paid for one.
I knew I could do it, and so I did - and I only paid $2.50 for each one. If I don't go into business for myself, I think these would make lovely gifts this Christmas, and I may just give a few away.
I've made them with homemade caramel and wrapped caramels and covered in nuts or sprinkles. I even made a design with nut halves and dragees on one. I think they're pretty no matter how you make them and they disappear so quickly there's no doubt about how delicious they are.
Caramel and Chocolate Dipped Apples
2 very large Fuji or Granny Smith (I prefer these) apples - washed, dried and at room temperature
1/2 pound dark chocolate coating
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted nuts or small candy sprinkles
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
40 wrapped caramels melted smooth in the microwave
Mix all three together well in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Clip on a candy thermometer and cook over low heat, stirring very often, until the temperature reaches the 'soft ball' stage - or 235 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir continuously for several minutes until the caramel beings to cool and thicken.
Dip each apple - using the stem - into the caramel as far as it will go. Use a spoon to cover the top half of the apple, making sure it is well coated and there are no bare spots. Set on parchment or waxed paper to cool. Dip other apple likewise.
When they caramel is set, it's time to dip in chocolate.
Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. When fully melted, dip each apple the same way they were dipped for the caramel, coating all sides well.
As soon as they are dipped, roll to coat in 1/2 cup chopped nuts or sprinkles. Let stand in a cold spot until well set. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat and consume within one week of dipping.