Homigosh you guys! This is like, the best fall ever. It’s the end of September and it’s still beautiful and pleasant and we haven’t had one hurricane warning yet in New York. I mean, all you folks gettin’ married this month, you seriously hit the jackpot, let me tell you. It makes me feel all squishy on the inside. I want to hug this weather and never let go.
But it is fall, and that means it’s apple grabbin’ season. I’ve been experimenting with apple cider recipes because I love apple cider donuts, but all my donuts were a flop. So then I accidentally made apple cider candy when I was trying to reduce some cider for a recipe and suddenly I was all, “Lightbulb moment! Caramels.” Et, voila!
For people who feel traditional caramel can taste too rich, I think this is the sugar fix for you. It’s not as strong a caramel flavor and it definitely has some distinct apple notes. I can’t wait to experiment with it more.
Just so you’re aware, this stuff hardens as it cools to the point where if you had cooled it in a pan, you could cut it with a knife. So make sure the container you store it in is microwaveable (not like mine) or you’ll be fighting this ’til the cows come home. Alternately, you can place the container in a warm water bath to help loosen it from the sides. But that’s a lot of work and spilled hot water. Trust me, I did it yesterday morning at 6:30 to prep for these photos.
And as a quick aside: I’ve been rediscovering Miles Davis and the Kind of Blue Legacy Edition album is exactly what late summer night cruising is made for. If you can ignore the totally creepy smoker’s voice that Miles has between cuts. Yikes.
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla
- In a heavy bottom medium sauce pan combine the apple cider and brown sugar and cook over medium heat stirring frequently until bubbly and reduced to about ¼ cup, approximately 20 - 30 minutes. You'll know it's done when it starts to smell caramely.
- Reduce heat to medium low and butter and heavy cream.
- Return to a boil and cook stirring constantly until a candy thermometer reads 238F, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla, stirring to combine.
- Let cool slightly before removing to a microwave safe container. Store in fridge. Reheat to serve.