Autumn. I think being born in October gives me a special kinship with fall. I long for the colorful leaves, cool air, and crisp apples. I also love caramel. So, it goes without saying that I’m a big caramel apple fan. I don’t remember making these often growing up. I do remember devouring those little cello wrapped Brach squares with great enthusiasm, so perhaps there were never many left for apple dipping. Caramel intimidated me a bit. My clumsiness paired with boiling sugar sounded like a recipe for disaster, but I finally decided to give it a go. Yum. A candy thermometer would have been handy, but consistency and color change are pretty good indicators of doneness. I still need some practice, but I’m proud to say my caramel no longer comes in squares.
I used local honey and apples from my CSA basket. You don’t want waxed apples for this (or anything else for that matter). I plan to try a higher proportion of honey in the future. You can replace the water with apple juice for apple flavored caramel. A dusting of flaky sea salt or some chopped nuts would be fun. Chopsticks worked great for these and probably prevented a few burns.
Honey Caramel Apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
2 small apples
Wash apples and insert sticks. Heat sugar, honey, water, and salt in heavy pan over medium heat. Swirl pan occasionally. Sugar will dissolve and start to bubble. The mixture will turn golden. Remove from heat. Mixture should be slightly thicker than honey. Spoon caramel over apples, allowing remainder to drip back into pan. Allow caramel to set for a few minutes before serving.