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4 November 2014

Toffee Crumble Apples


"It's beginning to look a lot like...Winter" and I'm already having to restrain myself from singing Christmas songs. Mostly Perry Como's version of this song and an assortment of others from The Muppet's Christmas Carol. It might not be the coolest Christmas film around but it's certainly my favourite. 

To banish my Wintery thoughts and because Bonfire Night is tomorrow! I'm shaking myself off these thoughts with some Toffee Crumble Apples! 


What makes these Toffee Crumble Apples is the addition of crunchy pecans, juicy raisins and dried cranberries and some crumbly oat biscuit pieces. And with these three apple crumble ingredients comes the added deluxe additions of vanilla seed paste in the toffee and a hearty heap of cinnamon, the ultimate Autumn spice.


Now I know what you're thinking another toffee apple recipe. It's been done. You're over it. Aren't these supposed to be eaten at Halloween? Well you could think all those things, or you could trust me when I say this is not any toffee apple, this is apple crumble on a stick/pencil! You could even drown it in custard if you want, although if you do this you might want to eat it with a fork and spoon instead.

Plus I even have some apple recommendations for you, that's right, I bet you didn't know I'm an apple connoisseur (not to be mistaken with an apple snob). If you want something with a bit of fizz and spiciness go for a Jazz apple, they've been described as a similar flavour to coca cola (by my boyfriend and possibly him alone). Or if you want something tart with bite try the old favourite Braeburn, crisp and a little sour. And then there's the best of both worlds, the Jonagold, it's sweet and sour with a good level of, dare I say, a spicy bouquet.


Don't be fooled by the Christmas gear in the shops. Autumn is still here. Make these toffee apples (jazz them up with some fall coloured pencils if you have to), grab some sparklers and celebrate the last of Autumn in multiple layers!

  
Toffee Crumble Apples
(6 ginormous apples or 10-12 small ones)
6 apples of your choosing (my faves are Jazz, Jonagold and the good ol' Braburn)
300g caster sugar plus an extra 2 tsp
75ml water
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla seed paste (or 1 pod)
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
75g pecans
2 tsp cinnamon
100g raisins and dried cranberries
2 oat biscuits or 1/2 cup of toasted oats

Step 1. Boil the kettle. Put the apples in a colander and place over the sink. Once the kettle has boiled pour the hot water over the apples to remove their waxy coating so the toffee won't run off. You don't want to cook the apples just merely scorch their skin with the water. Then twist of the stems, stick a lollipop stick/fork/coloured pencils with their ends wrapped in baking paper into the apples and place them on a lined baking tray.

Step 2. Toast the oats in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 5-10 minutes till lightly golden or crumble the biscuits into crumbs (both options work well but I like mine with a little extra sweetness, in addition to the  toffee, so biscuits for me!) put in a shallow bowl. Crush the pecans with your hands or back of  a knife, put in another bowl and toss them in the extra tsps sugar and cinnamon. You can either keep the raisins and cranberries whole or chop them into smaller chunks but chuck them in a third bowl too.

Step 3. Put 300g sugar and the water into a saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved over a medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved add the golden syrup, vinegar and vanilla seed paste and boil till it reaches 155 degrees Celsius on a sugar thermometer or when a little toffee is dropped into cold water it hardens instantly and easily snaps.

Step 4. With or without assistance, one at a time, dip and twist the apples in the toffee till smothered then dunk into your toppings. I recommend going for the biscuit and nuts first, and fruit second because the toffee hardens quite quickly it's more difficult to stick the solid toppings to the toffee apples. Place the toffee apples on the lined baking tray to cool.

Step 5. Throw a bonfire night bash and eat all the toffee apples with friends. Alternatively, eat all the apples on your own within 2 days.