I love the fall. The wonderful smell in the air (especially if you are near any bonfires or woodburning stoves), the brisk temperatures, and the fall colors! Best of all, it’s finally cool enough to start baking again. (Although, I still haven’t figured out exactly the best way to get passed the gluten-free issues with my favorite recipes. Not impressed with most gluten-free options out there.)
One of my favorite tastes of fall has to be fresh apples…crisp, juicy ones that make your mouth water when you
write about bite into them. It’s even more of a treat ~ almost dessert, if you will ~ when you make this caramel dip to go with sliced apples. Add some popcorn to the deal and I’m all set! That’s a wonderful light meal, in my opinion. 🙂
This is marvelous with popcorn, too. It doesn’t harden up to make popcorn balls ~ and I’m too lazy to make them. But you can drizzle it over the top of a bowl of popcorn and either be a fastidious person and use a spoon, or just dig in with your fingers, licking them as necessary. 😉
Caramel Dip for Apples
- 1 1/2 c. non-dairy milk, plain or vanilla
- 1 1/2 c. demerara, turbinado, or raw sugar, or Sucanat, or if you use plain evaporated cane juice crystals, just add a couple tablespoons of molasses.
- 2/3 c. maple syrup (grade B is the best in this case)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 T. water
- 2 T. extra non-dairy milk
- 1/4 c. cornstarch (or arrowroot, but I like the results from cornstarch better)
- 2 T. vegan margarine such as Earth Balance
- 2-3 tsp. vanilla
Plan ahead and have a spoon next to the stove for later in the recipe, unless you are blessed to have your utensil drawer next to your cooktop, or you can plan on using the spoon with which you stir your cornstarch mixture. In a 3 quart saucepan (trust me on the size!) whisk milk, sugar, syrup, and salt to combine. Whisk occasionally while cooking over medium heat. (WARNING: Do not lose track of what you are doing, because if this begins to boil unattended, it will boil over and make a terrible mess! And yes, this is experience speaking.) In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the cornstarch, water, and extra milk. Just as the milk and sugar mixture begins to boil, pour the cornstarch mixture into it, whisking constantly. Cook an addition 2-3 minutes, or until desired thickness. Keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools if you used cornstarch; not so with arrowroot. Since whisks aren’t particularly helpful to check on the thickness of things, use the spoon I mentioned earlier. Remove from heat and whisk in the margarine and vanilla. If it doesn’t seem thick enough at this point, you can put it back on the stove for a little bit longer.
Pour into a pretty glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to keep a ‘skin’ from forming. (Please try to use BPA-free plastic wrap. According to Jillian Michaels, Saran is the only brand that has taken this protective step.) Cool in refrigerator.
Serve drizzled over apple slices, or in small bowls for individual dipping.
Yields: 3 cups.