Luck be a Lady Apple
Nick was gone for essentially the whole month of October, traveling for work. Whenever he travels for more than a week, I have these delusions that I’ll become “my best self” while he’s gone, finally reading the books I have piled up or learning to love salad.
The reality is that I turn into a frat boy, eating almost exclusively pizza and candy and watching reality tv for company; I didn’t want to post all pictures of empty Nutella jars and Diet Coke bottles, so the Collected Edition blog took a little break. But now we’re back, and will hopefully be able to share some of our holiday adventures with you- like these mini caramel apples.
I wish I could make an infomercial showing people struggling with caramel apples. How many times have you bitten into one and taken half of the caramel with you? All you’re left with is a boring apple. Or what about when the apple starts sliding down the stick? Or, if you’re like me, you’ll end up with peanuts in your hair and caramel in your eyebrows just from attempting to sink in your teeth. And they are always huge, which has never made sense to me. They’re like 6 lbs, with an inch thick layer of toppings- it makes it difficult to get that perfectly balanced bite of tart apple and sweet caramel.
Enter lady apples. I’ve been talking about these tiny 3-bite apples nonstop for a couple months, searching in vain for them at every grocery store in Brooklyn. Finally, success! They are the perfect caramel apple-apple. Very crisp, a little tart, and very tiny, they are the ideal canvas for draping in caramel; the proportion makes for a better caramel/fruit ratio and they’re easy to eat (too easy to eat, maybe). My greatest regret in life is not also buying a regular apple to photograph the lady apples next to- but trust me when I say they are very small- ranging from approx. 1 ½” to 2 ½” in diameter.
The final caveat of an apple is the core. There’s some “life hack” going around about how you can just eat the core if you eat the apple bottom to top, but I refuse to believe that. Our thought? Replace it with a “core” of your own devising. We cored our apples, then stuffed half of them with brown-sugar baked bacon, and the other half got the peanut butter treatment. THEN we dipped them in caramel, and topped the former with pink sea salt, and the latter with roasted peanuts.
Don’t have an apple corer? Neither do we. One of the best things about being a hoarder is that you’ll frequently have random things lying around that can be repurposed into great kitchen tools. We actually used a broken tripod- the ¾” hollow metal tubes of the legs turned out to be the perfect size for coring apples.
Voila. We present the caramel apple, perfected. No core, no pesky stick, no broken teeth- just perfect food, conveniently packaged in a 3 bite package.
PS I’ve had great results using this caramel recipe for my apples- but experiment! Some people prefer harder or softer caramel- but this one is toothsome, complex tasting, and has a silky smooth texture that adheres to the apple quite well. If you core your apples, do NOT fill the hole with caramel- the moisture from the exposed apple flesh with liquify your caramel and you’ll end up with a big gloppy mess.