Warm Caramel Apple Dip
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Happy Halloween! I simply cannot believe it’s going to be November in a few days. It’s been so mild here the last month, then last night it turned very cold. It was a rude slap in the face to wake up to those kinds of temperatures, down in the 30’s and it didn’t get much above 40 all day. The forecast even called for snow flurries overnight, but I didn’t see any. The cats had stepped outside for their usual fresh air break and quickly wanted back inside, their wide eyes seemed to be asking “What happened to Autumn”?
But Autumn is still here in force and our weather will be moderating over the next few days. And we still have trick or treaters to contend with. Who all has had to replenish their Halloween candy supply as the bowl evaporated faster than water in a hot desert? I added a couple bags of M&Ms back in, as they were on sale. Hopefully all that will be gone Halloween night, as I instantly hate seeing that candy around on November 1st. I’ll probably ship the rest off to work with Bill.
And now, before we get rid of the holiday too fast, I want to share a recipe with you for this week’s Sunday Supper and Halloween finger foods. We always have plenty of apples this time of year, so this is perfect here. Ohio was big on Johnny Appleseed (real name John Chapman) in the old days, being a good place to grow apples with the right kind of climate. But don’t go thinking the apples were for eating!
Back in the day, Appleseed went out ahead of the land grants, buying land, planting apple trees and then selling them with trees nicely established. Apples as we know them today weren’t very widespread. The types of apples grown were mostly for making hard cider (alcoholic and fermented). People drank a lot of that and also ales and beers because it was a way to purify the water, since fresh drinking water could be iffy. And when people were getting their plots of land, they had to be producing crops by the end of the year (political red tape) so if they bought these plots already with apple trees on it, it was a given that their crop would be a success.
And here I bet you thought Johnny Appleseed was some nut who liked to hike and eat too many apples, tossing the seeds as he went. He was actually a very savvy businessman.
I think there may be an orchard or two that still has the offspring of original Johnny Appleseeds plantings, but most are modern apples. And in Ohio we favor Melrose apples the best among others. Those were developed around the second world war near Wooster. Ohio has a diversity of apple cultivars and varieties. Some of my favorites are ones available in many places, such as golden delicious, jonathan, and winesap. What are your favorite apple varieties? Let me know in the comments below!
This is very good served warm, and you can refrigerate the extras, microwaving what you need later on.
This kind of dip wasn’t around when I was a kid as I recall- we always had taffy apples and candy apples. My favorites were the ones a lady sold from her home down the street behind my school. I’d go there in the afternoon sometimes when I had pocket change and buy one. They were the red candy type and were the best I’ve ever tasted (too bad I don’t have the recipe!)
You don’t really see people selling things like that from their house anymore. And time was, someone would drop a taffy apple into a trick-or-treat sack if you were lucky. And if you were not so lucky, some loving lady would drop her delicious cupcake into your sack and smoosh it over everything.
But lots of things happened back then that don’t seem too common anymore- homemade treats like popcorn balls and fudge. Parties with scavenger hunts and dunking your head into a tub of water to see if you could grab an apple with your teeth. Halloween parades at school, marching up and down the street in costume, and parties by the PTA who would bring us fistfuls of treats and orange drink in our classrooms with their huge carts.
Homemade costumes, and store-bought costumes with hard plastic masks that everyone ended up taking off because it was hard to breathe and made a person’s face sweat.
Running from house to house on Halloween night after dark, kicking up the piles of leaves the people would rake to the curb. Halloween was safer then and we’ve watched it decline year by year. Hopefully some of the old traditions can still be kept at parties at home with family and friends. And if you do have a party (mostly adults do but hey, let’s not forget the kids!) make sure to whip an easy batch of this caramel dip up. I’m certain you will enjoy it as much as we do. And don’t forget-
Treat or Treat!
Smell my feet!
Give me something good to eat!
Warm Caramel Apple Dip
Yield: about 2-1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup butter
- 14 ounces condensed milk
- 11 ounces caramels, unwrapped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Melt the butter and whisk with the condensed milk until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir constantly over low heat (I used a double boiler- which consisted of a stainless bowl set over a smaller saucepan with simmering water several inches beneath the bottom of the bowl, but you could also use a diffuser plate), just until the caramels melt and you don’t see chunks coming off the spoon. DO NOT BOIL.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Refrigerate extra and reheat if needed over low heat.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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