Lunchbox Caramel Apple Slices

An easy recipe for a fall treat turned inside out.

Caramel Apple Slices

Caramel Apple Slices

Caramel apple slices are a mess-free, easy-to-wrangle alternative to the classic caramel apple on a stick.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Caramel apple slices are a mess-free, easy-to-wrangle alternative to the classic caramel apple on a stick.

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Caramel apples are a fall tradition around here. The treat that is simultaneously gooey and crisp is a seasonal classic. But let’s face it, caramel apples are messy, unwieldy and sometimes a little more than one kid (or adult) can handle. This year we’ll be adding a variation to the caramel apple tradition with this recipe for a caramel apple that puts the sticky part on the inside.

Cut in half and hollowed out, the center of the apple is filled with pretty much the same stuff that usually goes on the outside. Once the candy hardens, the apple is cut into slices. The result is a portable snack that is easy to handle, portion controlled and can be packed into a Ziploc bag for an irresistible fall favorite that can be enjoyed on the go. Best of all, you won’t have to wrangle those half-eaten caramel apples reserved for kids whose eyes were bigger than their stomachs.

Soaking the apples in salt water may seem like a strange step, but it serves two purposes. First, salt will help keep the flesh of the apple from quickly turning brown when exposed to the air. Second, a slightly salty apple is the perfect counterbalance to the silky sweet caramel within.

As for the caramel itself, you could buy the pre-made stuff and melt it, but the scratch-made caramel used here is so easy and delicious, you’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way.

Lunchbox Caramel Apple Slices

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 tart apples
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in 2 quarts cold water.

Cut apples in half and hollow out center using a spoon or melon baller.

Place cut apples in salt water solution and allow to soak while preparing caramel.

Melt butter in a heavy pot over high heat.

Add brown sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Bring to rolling boil and stir in cream.

Return to boil and continue to stir and cook until mixture reaches a temperature of 248 degrees (firm ball stage).

Remove caramel from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Pat apple halves dry with a paper towel and arrange in a baking dish cut-side up so they rest level.

Pour caramel into hollowed out middle of apple halves.

Refrigerate to chill  (about 30 minutes).

Remove from refrigerator and cut into slices.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

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