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Fried Apple Rings with Soft Salted Caramel

Liam Williams

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

September 7, 2021

If you’re a fan of fruit desserts, cinnamon, and caramel, boy do I have just the thing for you. Sour green apples coated in a tender batter, sweet cinnamon sugar dusting, and a smooth salted caramel sauce that doesn’t harden in the fridge, making it perfect for practically any dessert without ever having to reheat and melt it. Battered apple rings with super silky, stay soft caramel sauce.

How to Make Stay-Soft Caramel Sauce

How to Make Stay-Soft Caramel Sauce

One of the biggest challenges when making a caramel sauce is keeping it from hardening. There are two ways to do it, and I found the best way is to combine both. The first is to not overheat the sugar (keeping it from crystallizing) and secondly, add either corn syrup or acids, like cream of tartar or lemon juice (to do what?).

Butter and cream both give richness to the caramel by adding fat, while the lactose in the cream assists caramelization and develops more complex flavors. The cream will also keep the sugar from crystallizing and turning into hard sugar glass.

Salt and vanilla are purely for flavor: The salt adds great depth and contrast to the sweetness of the caramel and you can’t go wrong with the warmth of fresh vanilla. It’s perfectly subtle and gives extra notes of pure flavor that you cant get from vanilla extract.

Making the Batter

Fried Apple Rings with Soft Salted Caramel

Making the batter before you prep the apples has one big advantage: Resting. This lets the flour absorb more of the milk, dissolve any lumps, and release some of the starches and proteins that help give the batter some lift.
To make the batter, add all-purpose flour, salt, eggs, honey, and milk to a large mixing bowl, then whisk vigorously to combine them. Using honey adds much more richness to the batter and can also be sourced much more sustainably. That extra richness that pastured eggs bring to the table is also noticeable, and those super dark orange yolks add noticeable golden hue – perfect for fall.

How to Core & Prep Apples

How to Core & Prep Apples

The easiest way to core apples is of course to use an apple corer, but it’s actually very easy to do with a good old-fashioned knife. All you have to do is cut around the core on the top and bottom. As long as you cut the skin in a connecting circle around the stalk and the stamen, and a couple of millimeters of the flesh, you can easily push the whole core of the apple out without damaging anything else. After that, you simply have to cut the apples into slices and make sure they don’t brown.
Apples go brown when Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzymes in the chloroplasts oxidize phenolic compounds present in the apple tissue. In plain English: they go brown when their cut flesh is exposed to oxygen. There’s an easy solution to this: lemon juice. Like most acids, lemon juice deactivates enzymes (like the ones that cause food to spoil when you’re pickling). Simply slice a lemon in half, then rub both sides of the apple ring with it to cover it in some lemon juice. Set aside as you heat the oil.

Frying the Apples

Frying the Apples

To fry the apple rings, you have to use a high smoke point, flavorless oil like sunflower, canola, peanut, or vegetable oil. Add a couple of cups of oil to a wide pot or frying pan and heat up to 350-400ºF. 

Drop an apple in the batter, coat it generously, let the excess drip off, then – very carefully – lay it into the oil (away from you) and fry on each side until golden brown. Place the freshly fried apples on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil, and have a warm oven ready to keep them hot in while you finish the rest. 

Fried Apple Rings & Salted Caramel Recipe

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0
( 1 voted )
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Ingredients

  • For the Caramel:
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cup Double Cream
  • ½ tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 2 tsp Flaky Sea Saly
  • Apples:
  • 2 Large Cooking Apples
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • ¼ tsp Fine Salt
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ¼ cup Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Frying Oil
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Make the Caramel:
    1. In a mixing bowl combine the lemon juice and water so it has the consistency of wet sand. In a separate bowl whisk to combine the double cream, cornstarch, and vanilla seeds.
    2. Add the butter and sugar mixture into a cold, non-stick pan and place it over low heat.
    3. Whisk constantly until the butter and sugar are melted for 3-4 minutes then pour in the vanilla cream and sea salt and whisk until fully combined.
    4. Transfer the caramel to a heatproof dish and set it aside to cool completely. Place it in the freezer for more rapid cooling.
  2. Make the Batter:
    1. Add the flour, salt, honey, egg, and milk to a large mixing bowl and whisk until thick and smooth. Set the batter aside while you core and prep the apples.
  3. Prep the Apples:
    1. Core the whole apples with an apple corer then cut off the top and bottom and rub each side with lemon juice.
    2. Slice the apples into thinner than ¼-inch slices then coat each slice in lemon juice and set aside.
  4. Fry the Apples:
    1. Pour the oil into a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot and place over high heat, and heat it to 400ºF.
    2. Coat each apple in batter, drip off the excess, and carefully drop into the hot oil and fry on each side for 1-2 minutes.
    3. Drain the apples on a paper towel and place them in a warm oven while you whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
    4. Coat each side of the apples with cinnamon sugar and serve hot with the chilled caramel sauce.