- Grease and line the baking pan with parchment paper.
- To make the apple caramel syrup, pour the apple juice into a large saucepan, add the whole spices, and bring to a boil. Cook steadily over low to medium heat until the juice has reduced to 4 1/2 ounces of honey-colored syrup. Pick the spices out of the syrup before weighing to get an accurate measure. It is easier to do this by weight rather than measure it by volume in a measuring cup.
- Pour the syrup into a clean 2-quart saucepan and add the butter, both sugars, and the crème fraîche. Set the pan over low heat and stir frequently to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Add the thermometer to the pan, bring to a boil, and cook at a steady, even pace, stirring from time to time, until the syrup reaches 260ºF. Slide the pan off the heat, then remove the thermometer, add the sea salt, and stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the syrup into the prepared pan and leave until completely cold before cutting into squares with a lightly greased knife and wrapping in twists of waxed or parchment paper. To make cutting easier, pop the caramel into the fridge for 1 hour to firm up. The caramels will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight box in the fridge.
- To make the juice for the syrup, you can press the apples through a juicer and then filter through coffee filter papers, or use a fresh cloudy unpasteurized apple juice like those available from fruit farms. The reduced apple syrup is not only delicious in these caramels, but if you stop cooking the juice when it reaches 6 to 7 ounces, it makes a wonderful syrup to pour over cakes and pancakes.
Apple Cider Caramels
- Yield: 30 to 40 pieces
- 1quart cloudy unpasteurized or freshly squeezed and filtered apple juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 to 2 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 5tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
- 3/4cup light brown sugar
- 2/3cup granulated sugar
- 1/2cup crème fraîche
- A good pinch of salt
Recipe reprinted with permission from Summer Berries & Autumn Fruits © 2016 by Annie Rigg, Kyle Books