December 2, 2010

Delicious CARMEL APPLES from scratch

Makes 30 large apples and 36 medium apples 
Use a 1/2 batch for a dozen. 
Granny Smith apples are best. 
Wash and dry apples and remove stem. Refrigerate apples. 

Mix and boil
     8 cups sugar
     2 cups butter
     4 cups light corn syrup
Slowly add without stopping boil:
     4 cans evaporated milk
After removing from heat add:
     2 teaspoons vanilla.

In a heavy sauce pan (pressure cooker or like) combine sugar, syrup, and butter over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil Add milk a little at a time so mixture never stops boiling. Cook at a lower temperature, stirring ever few minutes--do not scrape the bottom when stirring. Cook to firm ball stage 240 degrees) You can test the carmel in a bowl of cold water by dropping a small amount of carmel into water and letting it cool. Carmel should make a fairly firm ball when removed from water. Remove from heat and add vanilla. (This portion does take a while. This is an all day activity, but VERY worth it.)

Pour carmel into a crock pot on medium-low setting--do not scrape the bottom of the carmel pan. When ready to dip, insert a pop cycle stick into top of each dry apple. (It does help to cut the stick into a point) Try to keep stick as straight as possible. Make sure there is no juice next to the stick Take one apple at a time and dip into carmel Make sure to cover the apple completely. Do not let it sit in the carmel too long or the apples will weep at the stem end.

Let carmel drip off and use a knife to scrape excess carmel off the bottom of the apple. Set apples on a sheet pan the you have sprayed with Pam. When tray is full, put it in the refrigerator so carmel will cool. Dip all apples and let cool. As the carmel cools some bubbles might appear. This is okay.

After apples have cooled, you can start dipping in chocolate. Use a high quality white dipping chocolate--it can't be molding chocolate (for locals--Kitchen Kneads (7600 S Redwood---- carries "Kreamy Chocolate" or "White Glacier" which works great.) I use about 5 lbs of chocolate per batch of carmel. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces so they can melt easily. You can then melt in a double boiler or in the microwave--1 minute at a time. Stirring every minute and adding more chocolate until smooth and creamy. Take apple and dip it into chocolate about 2/3-3/4 of the way on the apple so that the carmel still shows at the top. Let the chocolate drip and then scrape excess off the bottom. Set the apple in a cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle chocolate sides with mixture or candy. Set apple back on the tray. When tray is full return tray to the refrigerator.  
Once chocolate is set, you can wrap the apple in a cellophane bag and tie the top. They make great gifts or great treats to just eat!

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