|This is from our Sunday drive up to Porcupine Dam. So pretty!|
So my friends. Let's talk disclaimers here for these glorious Caramel Apples. Making homemade caramel isn't hard, but it does take some finesse. When I first started making these apples a couple of years ago, it wasn't a first time success. It wasn't even a second or third time success. It probably took me 5 or 6 tries to get the caramel just right. Some times I still don't get it just right and the caramel slips off my apples. Temperature is a huge factor in how the caramel sets. You want a soft ball set, but if I cooked my caramel to 240' F. which is the soft ball temp. on my thermometer, I would have a burnt, rock hard mess. It's all about your elevation.
I live at about 5500 ft. above sea level. I'm pretty high up. Water boils sooner than the 212' F. boiling point at sea level. Water boils at my house around 202' F. Therefore my candy is always done before the standard temperature is met. You'll just have to play with your temps. if you really want to make these. Or just email me. firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can just look at the pretty pictures, and go buy a Caramel Apple at your local chocolatier and call it good:) That might be better for your backside anyways.
I dipped both red and green apple this last weekend, and let me just tell you. The Granny Smith greens were the best. So use your favorite apple, and if you don't have apples you can always just pour the caramel into a big greased cookie sheet and cut it into squares and wrap them. Or my favorite. Pour the caramel over pecans or almonds and then cut them into squares, and dip them in dark chocolate! Divine!! So be brave and give this a try. Maybe half the recipe, and try out your temps. Once you perfect this though, you will be a caramel making madman!
Grandma Clawson's Famous Caramel
1/2 c. butter
1 2/3 c. dark Karo Corn Syrup
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. cream
1/2 t. salt
Place all the ingredient in a large heavy pan. I use a big cast iron pan, or a heavy bottomed soup pot. You don't want a flimsy pot or your caramel will burn. Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then slowly add:
1 more c. cream
I asked James' mom the reason for the two additions of cream and she said that if you drizzle the second cup of cream in while the rest of the ingredients are boiling, you get a smoother caramel. Try to not let the caramel stop boiling while you add the second cup of cream.
I let my caramel boil away on a medium heat until it reaches 232' F. and then take it off the heat. (Which would be 240' F. or the soft ball stage if I lived at sea level.) It usually reaches 233-234' F. by the time the temp. stops rising even when it's off the heat. This will take about 20-30 minutes. My caramel boils away at about 210' F. forever and then it finally starts to rise. Don't worry.
After the caramel has been taken off the heat I add:
2 t. real vanilla
Stir the caramel until it stops bubbling and then dip your apples. Each batch of caramel make about 10 medium sized apples, or 6 giant ones. If there is caramel left over I pour it out onto a greased plate and the kids cut away until it's devoured.