September 25, 2008

Vegan Caramel Apples

Today was our day for apple picking at Blake's Orchard. With Alex's dairy allergies it requires planning ahead to have the complete experience of caramel apples and donuts, so I made up some caramel apples yesterday to bring along. We had a great time picking apples, pie pumpkins and raspberries. Though no luck on getting any unpasteurized cider.

I'm still working out some of the details with using this caramel to coat apples. When the apple skins are smooth the caramel has trouble staying on overnight. You can do what I do and smoosh it back up or you can try refrigerating the covered apples. You can also make the block of caramel and remelt it and cover the apples shortly before serving. I was crazy for caramel pre-Alex and I really think these hold up in a taste test to real dairy caramels. Give them a try!

Vegan Caramel
Ingredient proportions from The Glad Cow Cookbook
Makes ~100 pieces of caramel candy, will coat ~8-10 apples

1 cup margarine*
2 cups sugar
2 cups soy milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 t vanilla
*Optional: Add 1 tsp salt if using unsalted margarine

-Line an 8 inch x 8 inch pan with parchment or cover a baking sheet with parchment and ready your apples and sticks. You can cover a few apples and then place the remaining caramel in any parchment lined container to set up and make candies. I use a loaf pan for the extra caramel when covering apples.
-Place the margarine, sugar, soy milk and corn syrup in a large saucepan (4qt capacity minimum)
-Bring ingredients to a boil stirring continually.
-Cook over medium-high heat while continuing to stir until candy reaches 248 degrees F. (243-5 for softer caramels)
-Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into lined baking pan. If coating apples then let allow the caramel to cool for a minute while still stirring and then start coating. After you coat the apples place them in the fridge or eat them as soon as they cool.
-Allow the caramel in the pan to cool completely. Snip into pieces using clean kitchen shears that you wipe or spray with oil (or slice with a knife). Wrap individually with waxed or parchment paper. Makes ~100 pieces
Variation: Cook to 230 degrees F for caramel sauce for ice cream/cake. Store in a covered container.

I'm adding this to the Living with Food Allergies Blog Carnival. Look for it and the other entries at The Allergic Kid on October 2nd.

This dairy-free recipe is kitten approved.