The Apple Has Arrived
Apples grow right here in our yards and are plentiful from our BC neighbours. However, for a number of months now, the apples have been from the USA all the way to New Zealand. Stop the madness. Local apples are here!
At Amaranth we have two local varieties available right now, with more on the way. Sunrise Apples are usually the first apples ready in the new season. They are sweet yet tart with a crisp and firm texture. On the heels of the Sunrise are the Early Golds, tart and crisp and a beautiful soft green. Both varieties can be enjoyed until mid September for snacking, salads, pies, baking, and apple sauce. There is also something else you could use these apples for. Caramel anyone?
Here are two options to enjoy the caramel the way that suits you best.
Almost Traditional Salted Caramel:
2 cups coconut sugar (contains minerals and rather low on the glycemic index, oh, and caramel tasting all on its own, but remember, still sugar...)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces (if you only have salted butter, use less added salt)
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature, Vital Greens Farm makes an amazing organic heavy cream available at Amaranth
1 tablespoon celtic or himalayan sea salt
You will also need a candy thermometer
Put the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2.5 litres. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. The sugar will all melt and gradually darken and begin take on a toasted smell. You need to bring the mixture up to 340F. This can happen quickly and you don't want to burn the caramel, so pay attention.
When you hit the magic temperature, carefully add all the butter (it will bubble up) and whisk until it is all melted. Now remove your pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream in and continue to whisk until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. You can now add your salt and combine again.
You can use the sauce as a dip for your cut up apples or you can actually make candy apples with it. To store as a dip, scrape it into a jar (with a lid) and put it into the fridge.
To make the candy apples, wash and dry your apple and stab it with a chopstick or popsicle stick (go almost all the way through the apple). Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Allow the caramel to cool for about 3 minutes. Dip the apple into the caramel and place it on a sheet of parchment. Keep it at room temperature. Enjoy!
If the apple is dipped, you should eat that within a day or two. The dip itself will last in a jar in your fridge for up to 2 months.
Next to Nature Tahini Caramel:
1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp celtic or himalayan sea salt
1 vanilla been, scraped, or 1 tsp of real vanilla extract
soaking water as needed
If the dates are very moist, only soak them for 1 hour. If they are on the dryer side, soak them for up to 4 hours
Drain dates, reserving the soak water
Put all of the ingredients in a food processor except for the soaking water and blend on high until the dates are smooth. If the sauce needs to be thinned, add a tiny bit of the soaking water at a time until it is at the desired consistency.
Your apples can be dipped in this deliciousness. It is also tasty on toast (cinnamon raisin anyone!) or could be used as an icing or frankly eaten from the spoon.
This will store in the fridge in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
Enjoy the apples as they arrive. They each offer their own distinct taste. A reminder of all that nature has to offer.
Recipes courtesy of Amy Buckman @ Amaranth "your local health food store"