FruitAlison Lambert


FruitAlison Lambert

where to start.....

I remember when i was young helping my mother pushing sticks into the bottom of hundreds of apples.  Once my mother had carefully, yet skillfully submerged the apples into the brightly coloured, hot toffee, and it

had hardened.  My brothers and i would set up a mini production line - one would put the toffee apple into a cellophane bag, another would cut ribbon and one would tie.  Then they would be packed into apple boxes for the fair the next day.  Wow it seemed such a lot of work, but so worth it when you see the sticky faces of delighted children and adults, slurping away on the apple.
The ironic thing is now i make the same recipe, using the same techniques, hoping to carry on this dying skill.

Here's too the mighty (sticky) Toffee Apple...

makes 12 small

12 small slightly tart apples, washed and dried
12 wooden ice block sticks

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon vinegar
red food colouring

cellophane bags
pretty ribbon

Method:  with toffee apples it is all about the preparation!  Firstly you need to select smallish apples, slightly tart and spray free.  If by any chance they look as though they may have some spray or worse wax, you need to wash them in cold water and dry them well with a clean cloth.  You then need to remove the little twig that sticks out from the apple, (i usually twist is off).  With a little force, push the ice block stick into the part of the apple where you have just removed the twig thing.  Once all the apples have been done. 
Add the sugar, water and vinegar to a clean, heavy base, deep sided pot.  heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly - DO NOT STIR ONCE THIS STAGE HAS REACHED!!!! If you stir it as this stage, you will get cloudy toffee and it can crystallize.  Grease a bench well with a little oil or butter.  Once your toffee has been boiling for about 7-10 minutes or the bubbles are looking bigger and slower.  Get a glass of cold water and a dry spoon.  Carefully dip in the spoon and get a little toffee, drizzle it into the water and listen for a crack sound.  Once the toffee has gone cold, check for the stage you are at.  If the toffee is still soft and sticky it is at the soft ball stage, we are wanting the hard ball stage.  It will take another couple of minutes to reach that point.  Remove a little more toffee as you did before and listen again as it drizzles into the water.  If should make a cracking sound and it should be set like toffee, yet snap if broken.  Turn off the heat immediately as you don't want it to cook any further.  After a few minutes, add the red food colouring - stand back as it will bubble.  Stir to mix and add more colouring if needed.
Carefully dip the apple into the hot toffee, only attempt one at a time and allow the excess toffee to drain off, back into the pot. Place carefully onto the greased bench and continue until all the toffee is used up. 
When cool and hard, wrap in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon.

 - clean apples and dry                                                    
 - clean and dry pot
 - once sugar has dissolved DO NOT STIR
 - test for hard ball st
 - always put the toffee apples onto a greased bench.
 - wrap when cold and don't refrigerate
 - last for 2 days

mm mm - sticky Freddy