Four hours in the kitchen…slicing, frying, baking, dipping and coating (and making a mess that took forever to clean up). There were apples cooling in the living room, apples dredged in egg and coated with flour, apple and caramel bits stuck in my hair, and apple incarnations that should have never seen the light of day. The product of our labors? The two modest (but delicious) apple tapas that you see below. We thought this post would be a bit more epic. In order to have something that contrasted the savory apple chips we wanted to make some candied apples… but not just any candied apples! We had visions of turning the world of candied apples on its shiny head by frying apple wedges in graham crackers and then coating them with caramel and chocolate. Apparently, apples just aren’t as tasty fried as we had anticipated. Regardless of the failures, the successes that we had were still tasty! Savory apple chips with gorgonzola and sweet choco-graham wedges with a caramel drizzle. So, what did we learn from our experience? Firstly, caramel sauce is surprisingly easy to make and totally delicious. Secondly, Never eat only apples, chocolate, and caramel for dinner. You will not sleep well due to your sugar high and you will be tired at work the next day. Just trust us…we know.
Foggy Ridge Cidery is one of the locations we visited on our Virginia Wine tour. What could be more logical than pairing a cider with apples (probably lots of things). This cider is sweet but pretty dry at the same time and seemed like the love baby between cider and brut champagne. The sweetness of the cider contrasted with the savory chips and helped quench the spice from the garlic and pepper while the dryness of the cider helped wash down the sweet and thick flavors of chocolate and caramel on the apple wedges.
1 apple (whatever type you like!)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese, or to taste
Slice apples as thinly as possible using a mandoline or a very steady hand. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the apple slices in a single layer on the sheet. Season with salt, pepper and crushed garlic (if you like garlic)! Sprinkle crumbled gorgonzola cheese on each apple slice. Place into a preheated 200F degree oven; bake for about 1 1/2- 2 hours, depending on how thick the slices are and how crispy or chewy you like them. Cool and store in an airtight container.
1 apple, sliced into wedges
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 graham cracker sheets, crushed into crumbs
Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
Slice apple and melt chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. When chocolate is melted, dip each apple wedge into the melted chocolate and immediately roll in graham cracker crumbs. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Throw the wedges in the freezer to let the chocolate freeze and then enjoy.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Place sugar in a small heavy sauce pan and pour water evenly over the top. Turn stove top to medium-high heat. Hold sauce pan by the handle and swirl occasionally until sugar has dissolved. (Avoid letting sugar burn until completely dissolved.) Cover pan, turn heat to high, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove lid and continue to boil until syrup turns brown around the edges of the pan. Again, grab the handle and swirl syrup occasionally until it turns a deep amber and begins to smoke. Remove pan from heat, add butter and gently whisk until all butter is mixed in and then stir in cream. If sauce becomes lumpy, set pan over low heat and stir until smooth then turn off heat again. Finally stir in vanilla and salt until well mixed.