Sunday, November 17, 2019

Caramelized Spiced Apples

Caramelized Apples are a warming treat any time of day and combine the rich flavours of butter, cinnamon and raw sugar. The trick is to bloom the cinnamon in salted butter before adding the sugar and fruit - way more developed notes in the spice and the apple chunks get fully coated.

While there may be snow on the ground and sub-zero temperatures outside, it is still officially Fall, and that means that for now our local orchards are still selling the last of this years crop at decent prices. I was actually inspired to make these after making apple squares with my Home Ec classes - the kids were stealing the spiced apples out of the bowl (not that I blame them) and were asking if we could make "just the apples". I haven't had sauteed apples in a dog's age, so they immediately found themselves on my to-do list!

Of course, I brought my somewhat more updated knowledge of cooking to the proverbial table when making them this time, as opposed to my child years where "baked apples" and the like were done in the microwave without butter at all. This time, I played on what I learned about blooming spices in curry and cooked the cinnamon in the butter first, allowing it to infuse before getting the caramel and finally apples going. Secondly, I took my time with the cooking, allowing the apples to cook through but keep their shape and the syrup to reduce to a caramel sauce consistency. The possibilities for these were endless - mom snagged a scoop to put on her oatmeal this morning while I packed some into turnovers and an apple crumble too. They keep for a decent time in the fridge but I wouldn't recommend freezing them unless your aim is applesauce - which given the ingredients going on wouldn't be a bad thing at all!

Caramelized Spiced Apples 
Serves 4-6
3 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
4 medium-large apples (I used Honeycrisp), peeled and cubed
  1. Place the butter in a skillet and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place over medium heat and melt.
  2. Once melted, let cook for 1 minute, swirling the pan occasionally until fragrant. 
  3. Add the sugars and stir in well. It will look like wet sand at first but eventually melt out.
  4. When the sugars are melted, add the apples and stir gently to coat.
  5. Cook, stirring gently and occasionally, until the apples are golden, glazed and have released some of their juices, about 10 minutes.
  6. Scrape immediately into a bowl and let cool, or serve immediately over ice cream or oatmeal.

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