As last week ushered in the official start to the fall season, here in Traverse City the weather heard the news loud and clear. It went from 80 degree weather to mid 60's. It's okay though, these fall days bring many great things.
As the sun shines brightly, the leaves on the trees seem to sparkle. The air is crisp and fresh. An abundance of fall harvests are here for our taking.
This time of year my children think of caramel apples. Cider mills and farmer's markets have them for sale. Or you could buy fresh apples at the market and make homemade caramel sauce at home with your children. This would be a great recipe for a Halloween party or other fall theme event. This is easy and fun. What a great way to enjoy those fresh apples.
Recipe for homemade caramel sauce:
Equipment needed: candy thermometer
8 medium to large apples or 12 small tart apples
1 cup chopped nuts ( cashews, peanuts, walnuts- optional)
1 cup butter
1 16 ounce package ( 2 1/4 cups) packed brown sugar
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray cooking spray over the foil. Wash and dry apples. Remove stems, and insert a wooden skewer at the end of each apple. Place chopped nuts in a separate bowl.
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan melt butter over low heat. Next add brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup. Mix well. Increase heat to medium high, stir until mixture boils. Clip candy thermometer to side of saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. continue stirring. Mixture will boil at a moderate steady state. Look for thermometer to register at 248 degrees, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla.
Quickly dip each apple into the hot caramel sauce, turn to coat. If desired, dip in nut mixture. Place on baking sheet. Chill if desired.