Zabet Stewart (photo)
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Pomme et Porc
I dreamt of a sweet that would make your mouth water with complex flavors of apple cider and smoky bacon mingling on your tastebuds, while the sweet seductive caramel that carries them so perfectly melts on your tongue.
"Caramel" Lava Land by Piglet
Rolling in Her Grave
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Full page recipe (pdf format)
3x5 card recipe (pdf format)
||light corn syrup
||apple cider reduction (see Chef's Notes)
||butter, plus more for greasing
||cooked bacon (rashers), finely minced with fatty bits removed
You Will Also Need
- candy thermometer
- silicone spatula
Be sure to use a saucepan with a heavy bottom and tall sides. The thicker bottom will prevent the sugar mixture from scorching and the tall sides are necessary to keep the mixture in the pan and off your stovetop. Burnt sugar is a bitch to clean off.
When selecting bacon for the caramels, I would recommend an applewood smoked bacon just to punch up the apple flavor a bit more in the recipe. However, if you would like to make these in a hurry, just grab some real bacon bits in a jar from the grocery, and sift out the largest pieces until you have the smallest crumbs in the amount called for in the recipe. The larger pieces are undesirable because they affect the finished texture of the recipe.
To create the apple cider reduction, place 2 cups of your favorite apple cider in a saucepan and let it simmer on medium low heat until it had reduced to 1/3 cup. This could take between 30-45 minutes depending on the water/sugar ratio in the cider, so I would recommend you do this before starting to make the caramels for the first time. You can cover and store the cider reduction in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
This step is optional, but the caramels are enhanced by wrapping them in a seductive little coat of chocolate. I recommend Guittard Semisweet chocolate wafers (61% cacao) for easy melting and dipping. Half a pound of chocolate will do the trick easily.
Makes 32 servings. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes.
The AntiCraft assumes any well stocked basic kitchen to have certain things on hand. (Click for our basic kitchen items list.)
Line a 8" square pan with foil and grease it well with butter to prevent the caramel from sticking.
Place the cream, sugar, corn syrup, apple cider reduction, and salt into the sauce pan and mix well over medium heat with the silicone spatula until the sugar melts completely. Add the butter and stir it in completely. Keep stirring until the sugar mixture begins to boil. Let the mixture continue to cook until it it is in firm ball stage (245º-250ºF / 118º-120ºC).
Add the vanilla and stir it in quickly and carefully, as it will cause the sugar mixture to boil violently and splatter. When the mixture has calmed, add the bacon bits, stir well, and pour into the prepared pan.
Allow the caramel to cool, then cut with a sharp buttered knife into 1" squares.
Wrap the caramels in small squares of waxed paper or dip in melted dark chocolate for an even greater experience. Caramels can be stored in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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