Reader and good friend Lisa writes in to ask:
Hope you don’t mind fielding this, but I’m wondering about your caramel: Does this mean I can just try my hand at making caramel, and then dip apples into it for caramel apples (rather than melting the chunks of caramel you buy a the store)? Because you make making the caramel seem almost as easy as melting the caramel, and since we’re going apple picking this weekend, I was just wondering….
I devoted a fair amount of thought to this yesterday. My first reaction was: absolutely! However the more I thought about it, the more I realized how difficult it would be to calibrate your pan caramel to a perfect apple-sticking consistency. A very light caramel and you’ll get something more akin to a candy apple (which is of course delightful in its own way), a dark one and you’ll likely have an apple sitting in a puddle — since one other thing I failed to mention about very dark caramels is that they’re runnier than lighter ones (all that molecule destruction, donchaknow).
No, I think for something like a caramel apple you might want to go with some thing more conventional. But don’t run off to the store and buy caramel chunks — heaven forbid. Try something along these lines and you’ll be very happy with the result, I’m sure.