Recipe 94 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
WW Note: I love that I finally have a dessert to share that you can easily partake in! Each will cost you 2! 3 for 7 though so watch out!
This recipe can be found in Deb Perelman’s “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” on pages 277- 279 or from Deb herself:
This was a really fun recipe to make! I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time. A few weeks ago I saw that we were going to need apple cider for this recipe so the hunt began. Mid quarantine that wasn’t an easy undertaking and I came to understand that it just wasn’t the season and I wasn’t really going to have any luck.
My daughter and I are going through curriculum for homeschool preschool called Playing Preschool from The Busy Toddler. Our first 2 weeks of the curriculum had a theme of Apples which means we had a lot of apples we used for the lessons.
At the end of the two weeks we were supposed to use the apples to make something. I immediately perked up and thought, “Yes? I can make my own apple cider….right?”
I found this recipe for Homemade Apple Cider and we ended up with a few good sized jars ready for this recipe! So, this recipe couldn’t be much more homemade then this!
An important thing to note about using homemade apple cider for this recipe (…Or at least I can say from my experience)… Deb talks about you needing to reduce the apple cider down from its 4 cups to 1/2 or 1/3 cup of syrupy condensed/reduced apple cider.
However, mine just never got syrupy! It mostly was just really dark but very watery. I decided to stop when I saw that it was at the 1/3 – 1/2 cup volume and hope for the best.
I’m happy to say that it DID work just fine even though it was liquidy. I wanted to give that warning in case you notice the same thing happening. Don’t give up, keep going and focus on getting the volume and don’t worry about the viscosity. Even if it’s not syrupy you DO have a condensed apple cider flavor which is what you’re wanting to work with.
Deb gives you some tips on how to be sure that the caramel is done after you’ve added the sugars. I have a candy thermometer so I was okay but be sure to check that out in case you don’t have one on hand. If you’re shopping, here’s a link to mine.
She suggests that you use a parchment lined square 10×10 pan. This is important to have the parchment so you can get the caramels out and cut them outside the pan when you’re done. I didn’t grease or butter the pan and that was just as well because the parchment paper peeled off the caramel just fine.
If you don’t care how big they are then don’t be as particular as I was with a ruler but it did help me evenly slice.
Her biggest tip, and it’s important, is have a neutral oil on hand to help with cutting the block of caramel into wrappable pieces. I used a oil saturated paper towel to keep the knife oiled between each slice so nothing stuck too badly to the knife.
They certainly were tasty and I went through all the people in my head I wanted to share these with and of course, could not, because #socialdistancing.
However, I did pass along a small sack to my parents when dropping off a mask I made for my mom. I think this is one I’ll happily make again to celebrate quarantine being over! So tasty! Please try these at home!