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Paleo Maple Caramel Apples

These Paleo Maple Caramel Apples have a depth of flavor you'll never taste from caramel apples at the county fair - plus, they're grain-free and dairy-free!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Anna

Equipment

  • double boiler
  • Cookie sheets
  • parchment paper
  • Popsicle Sticks

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or 1/4c coconut oil & 1/4c grass-fed butter)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 firm medium apples
  • finely chopped nuts or coconut for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place apples on a firm surface, and carefully skewer with the popsicle sticks. Arrange apples on parchment lined sheet.
  • Now, make the caramel. Add all honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, and water to the top of a double boiler. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  • Continue to simmer, stirring frequently. As the mixture cooks, you'll notice that it first darkens in color, and begins to “pull away” from the sides of the pan. You will
    likely see an increase in the volume of bubbling right before this point. Soon after, the caramel will start to lighten in color a bit, and that's when you're going to want to pay very close attention - it means you're really just about done.
    Cooking the caramel takes some time - usually at least 20 minutes. Caramel can be cooked more quickly in a saucepan directly on a burner, but it's a bit easier to burn it, so I suggest using the double boiler.
  • Heat the caramel till it reaches 245 degrees on a candy thermometer.
    You can also check for done-ness using the "cold water test": using a spoon, pour a drop of the mixture into a glass of cold water. Mixture should form a ball that stays together, but is still pliable. (We're going for just past the "soft ball" stage.)
    If mixture strings out in the water rather than forming a ball, cook for a minute or two longer and try again.
  • Remove caramel from the heat, and let it rest for a few minutes. It's easiest to work with when it's begun to cool just slightly.
  • Either dip the apples into the caramel, and return to the parchment-lined sheet to firm up, or spoon the caramel over the apples right on the cookie sheet. Both ways work just fine.
  • If you'd like to garnish your apples with some finely-ground nuts or coconut, now is the time to do it.
  • For best results, let apples cool undisturbed at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Store apples not eaten within a few hours in the refrigerator. They're best enjoyed right away, since the apples will begin to soften a bit, but can be refrigerated for a day or two without much loss of quality.

Notes

If you're not dairy-free Paleo, do try using half grass-fed butter and half coconut oil in this recipe. It's wonderful either way, but I feel the butter adds a deph and roundness to the caramel that's just a bit extra-special!
Getting perfect caramel - I find the trick is to set aside plenty of time, and not rush it. While you can cook this recipe in a saucepan directly on a burner and have it come out fine, the faster cooking process leaves less margin for error with reaching the perfect temperature without exceeding it, and it can be possible to scorch the mixture if the burner is too hot. Using a double-burner is certainly slower, but allows a lot more forgiveness with reaching the perfect temperature and consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg