How about them apples?
This Halloween, scare up an iconic treat: an ooeygooey caramel apple. It’s a fall must-have, especially today, aka National Caramel Apple Day.
“They’re just delicious, everything about them,” said Caleb Coe of Zwahlen’s Ice Cream & Chocolate Co. in Audubon. “We have 26 different varieties, so we have a lot of your favorite apples to choose from.”
Indulge in s’mores, cookies and cream or peanut butter-pretzel. Try a bewitchingly tasty ghost or werewolf apple. Root for a Phillies or Eagles apple. The list goes on, but the core remains the same.
“We always make them out of Granny Smith apples,” he described. “It has that really, really crisp apple taste.”
And when the temperature dips, sales skyrocket, peaking near Christmas at “about 1,000 a day.”
Highland Orchards in West Chester also boasts a loyal caramel-apple crowd, filling orders for families, parties and weddings.
“When they see the caramel apples, that’s what they want,” said store manager Shirley Moore. “The caramel recipe’s a secret. I don’t know if I can tell you.”
However, she did reveal an apple-making tip.
“Start them at room temperature,” Moore advised. “Don’t start them cold. The caramel runs right off.”
Another Highland tradition: “apple pie with caramel drizzled on top and walnuts.”
It’s a hit at Corropolese Italian Bakery and Deli in Norristown and other locations too.
“I love a pie, and anytime you can put caramel and nuts on top of a pie, I’m there,” explained owner Joe Corropolese, who sells cake and cheesecake versions as well. “If you’re a caramelapple lover, you’ve got to try them. They’re really good.”
Hungry for more? Head to Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream in Berwyn for - you guessed it - caramel apple ice cream. Order caramel apple doughnuts at Beiler’s Bakery in the Westtown Amish Market and Reading Terminal Market. Or pair caramel apple cookies with coffee at Frecon Farms in Boyertown.
Back at Zwahlen’s, Coe looked ahead, anticipated the caramel-apple rush and said, “We’re going to be pulling all-nighters.”
Favorite Caramel Apples
1 cup finely chopped salted peanuts
1/2 cup Land O’Lakes butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup Dash salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 teaspoon vanilla
10 tart apples, washed, dried Instructions Butter waxed paper; set aside. Place peanuts into bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan; add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture comes to a full boil. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball or candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Dip apples into caramel mixture. Dip one end of each apple into peanuts. Place onto prepared waxed paper.
RECIPE COURTESY OF LAND O’LAKES, INC.
Caramel Apple Pie
This pie won a blue ribbon at the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show. Ingredients
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup ice water
3 1/2 cups PA Preferred apples, peeled, cored, sliced 3/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt
25 Kraft caramels, melted
Dash of nutmeg Instructions
For the crust: Cut shortening into flour, add butter and salt. Add water a little at a time. Work with hands to form dough. Roll onto flour-covered cloth. Roll onto pie pan.
Mix sugar, flour, salt and spice together in a small bowl. Toss apples into the bowl. Lay apples into unbaked pie crust. Top with the melted caramels. Top the whole pie with crust. Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn oven down to 375 degrees and bake for 45 more minutes or until apples are soft and crust is golden brown.
RECIPE COURTESY OF DOROTHY MARTIN AND THE PA FARM SHOW
Sip, sip… caramel apple cocktails
Toast the season with caramel apple sangria at TJ’s Restaurant and Drinkery in Paoli, or mix up these cocktails at home. Caramel Apple Cocktail Ingredients
1 ounce Crown Royal Regal Apple Canadian Whisky
3/4 ounce Crown Royal Salted Caramel Canadian Whisky
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
4 ounces ginger ale 1 apple slice Instructions
Pour first four ingredients over ice in a rocks glass; stir gently. Garnish with apple slice.
RECIPE COURTESY OF FINE WINE & GOOD SPIRITS
Salted Karamel Cider
1 ounce Stolichnaya Salted Karamel Vodka 3 ounces apple cider 1 cinnamon stick Instructions
To serve cold, combine the ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice; stir gently and garnish with cinnamon stick. To serve warm, heat apple cider to desired temperature, pour into a mug and add the flavored vodka. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
RECIPE COURTESY OF FINE WINE & GOOD SPIRITS
Sprinkles add a festive touch to a Highland Orchards’ caramel apple.
Got cake? Caramel apple cake, that is.
It’s hard to choose just one apple at Zwahlen’s Ice Cream & Chocolate Co.
Get your Halloween (apple) on!
At Highland Orchards, caramel and walnuts top these apple pies.
Mix up a caramel apple cocktail.