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Friday, October 19, 2012

Caramel Apples

We have had a wonderful problem in our home here lately--loads of apples! Our neighbors pass through areas where apples are in season right now so every few days we seem to be another bag of good apples. Before I share this recipe, I wanted to share a little trick I have found when it comes to selecting apples. Aside from looking for the more obvious bruising on the outside of the apples, the main thing I look for is the blossom end of the apple. It should be tightly closed rather than open. This is an indicator of the length of time the apple has spent away from the tree. Generally, if I only choose apples with closed blossom ends, I end up with crisp apples.

Now, on to more delicious things.  I wanted to make an apple pie, but didn't have enough flour. I decided to make apple crisp only to realize I had no oatmeal. Baked apples it would become. I like caramel. I like apples. I like caramel apples. I don't like sticky messes. This recipe combines the apples and caramel in a less messy way. If you have an ovenproof dish that also works on the stove, then you could only dirty one dish. I'm willing to wash an extra pot for caramel goodness though.

Pre-baking: Apples are covered with caramel and dotted with butter.

Baked Caramel Apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
 4 large apples, chopped (peeled or unpeeled)
2 Tablespoons butter, for dotting
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the brown sugar, water, butter, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Do not leave this or you risk burning the caramel. Once the caramel begins to thicken to a gravy-like consistency, remove from heat. Place the apples in the bottom of a baking dish. Pour over the warm caramel and dot the top of apples with the butter. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Bake covered for 30-40 minutes in a 175 degree oven.

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