I was on my way to purchase some flowers and walked past these apples at the Holesovice market, glanced at them as I continued right on by and then I took a few steps back to stop and admire them. I had to take a closer look and truly appreciate their gorgeous colors up close. How could I resist from buying some of these beauties? Well, I just couldn’t! I walked away with several bags full of crisp beautiful apples of varying shades and combinations of green, red and golden yellow all grown here in the Czech Republic. Now I can be a bit of a harsh critic when it comes to apples. I’m from Washington after all! But I do have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the apples in different ways over the last week or so.
Truth be told, I’ve been craving caramel, not just any kind of caramel, but homemade caramels. My Aunt D and my Grandma have made some amazing caramels for the holidays over the years and since I’ve been gluten-free, most good quality caramels available to purchase are covered in chocolate that contains gluten! So it was high time for a sweet treat.
Caramel-flavored sweetened condensed milk can too be yours at Albert here in the Czech Republic. Couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it for the first time months ago. It even says directly on the can (the English translation is: “suitable for gluten-free diet”)!
Homemade Caramel Sauce for Caramel Apples
250 grams/1 cup of salted butter ( I use Madeta Maslo in the light blue package)
2 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
397 grams/14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (I used salto, caramel flavored sweeted condensed milk)
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine first four ingredients into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir constantly until the mixture reaches between the soft ball stage and the firm ball stage on your candy thermometer. I cooked it until 250 degrees Fahrenheit and it turned out perfect to my liking! Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and quickly stir to combine. Poke apples in the center with wooden sticks or chopsticks and swirl the apple around in the warm caramel until coated. You can add extra toppings such as nuts, sprinkles, coconut, or candy to make it more festive and colorful if you’d like while warm. Let cool and enjoy!