Fall is in full swing — time to make some vanilla bean caramel apples! Posting date is November 4.
Vanilla Bean Caramel Apples
Serves: 10-12 apples
- 10 to 12 crisp apples
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Wash and thoroughly dry the apples. Remove the stems, then set them on parchment-lined baking sheets a few inches apart. Insert a small dowel (about 7 inches long, pencil-sharpened on one end) about three quarters of the way through each apple.
- Put the cream in a small heavy pot. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and, using the tip of the knife or a small teaspoon, scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the cream. Add the vanilla bean to the cream.
- Simmer the cream and vanilla over very low heat for 10 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove the vanilla bean and any other fibrous pieces. Vanilla bean flecks will remain.
- Return the vanilla cream to the pot, then add the sugar, corn syrup, and butter, making sure that the mixture doesn’t splash onto the sides of the pot. Place the pot over very low heat and stir very gently until the sugar is dissolved, to prevent burning. When the sugar is dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pot. Heat the caramel mixture, without stirring, to 245 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, put a few handfuls of ice in a medium bowl that is large enough to accommodate the pot with the caramel mixture.
- When the caramel mixture reaches 245 degrees F. (and stays there for at least 1 minute), remove from the heat and place the pot on top of the ice for 30 seconds to slow the cooking. Remove the pan from the ice.
- Tilt the pot toward you to create a big pool of caramel and, working fast, immediately begin dipping the apples in it. Dip each apple only once, and don’t worry about coating it evenly or completely (the more you fuss with the caramel the more difficult it will become to dip). Return the caramel-dipped apples back to the baking sheet and refrigerate until the caramel is set, about 10 minutes. Serve.