I’ve been wracking my brain trying to decide what to bake with my beautiful new Mountain Rose Apples from Mikuni Wild Harvest. These extremely rare and limited apples are currently grown in the Mount Hood River Valley of Oregon only once a year and when I found out that they were in short supply, I had to have them! The price is, um, a bit insane but it’s Chanukah time so I just bought a special gift for myself and ordered a package of these special apples. As soon as the box came, I sliced in to one of the delicate green apples to reveal a bright rose-colored center all the way through. Before even taking the first bite, I had to smell the apple since I read that they smell like cotton candy. Can you believe it?!? A cotton candy scented apple! The apple tasted a little bit tart, a little bit sweet and, dare I say it, reminded me a bit of a strawberry. Inspired by the scent and flavors of the apple, I could only think of one thing…a carnival! And what is my favorite thing to eat every time I got to a carnival? That’s easy. Caramel Apples! So here is my deconstructed version of a caramel apple with decadent homemade peanut butter caramel. This recipe truly features the elegance of my new unique fruit.
First up is the beautiful homemade artisan peanut butter salted caramel. There is no corn syrup in this caramel so this is some serious ‘from scratch’ cooking! I highly recommend using a thermometer for this caramel, and really, any caramel! If you don’t feel like using one, just read my homemade taffy recipe and you might change your mind.
Check out the golden color!
When you add the butter and vanilla, the caramel is going to bubble up like crazy! Just stay back and let it do it’s thing.
If you have a peanut allergy, just leave out the peanut butter and use 1/2 cup whipping cream and 2 Tbsp unsalted butter instead. The caramel will be just as delicious! Quick note straight from thelunacafe.com: “If the caramel is too stiff after incorporating the peanut butter or when at room temperature, warm it slightly in the microwave and then stir in cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. You can even add enough cream to achieve a sauce consistency.”
While the caramel is cooling, it’s time to make easy homemade pie dough. I use this pie dough for everything!!!
And those apples! Those beautiful rose apples!
The great thing about a galette is that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Time to drizzle that caramel. So ooey gooey!
Sprinkle on the candied pecans then places the apples over the top in a fan pattern. You can use whatever design appeals to you!
Folding the dough over the apples gives it a great rustic look and it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s really why I prefer galettes over pies.
Bake until golden brown and your house smells like caramels and apples.
I let the galette cool a bit before taking the first taste and boy was it worth the wait! It was like biting into a sweet delicious caramel apple dipped in peanut butter and pecans. My fave! The apples kept their incredible color and flavor, the salted peanut butter caramel added a creamy silky texture and the candied pecans were the crunch-factor I was hoping for.
If you don’t like pecans you can leave them out since the crust is perfectly crunchy as well, but I love the added sweetness and crunch from the candied nut. And if you think it’s too much effort to make the candied pecans to go along with the caramel, I say they are worth the effort because they freeze incredibly well and I use them all the time when I bake. Anytime a recipe says to use pecans, I use my homemade candied pecans. Yum!
Salted Peanut Butter Caramel
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup whipping cream, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted margarine, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- *if you are making this caramel without peanut butter, use 1/2 cup whipping cream and 2 Tbsp unsalted margarine
- In a heavy pot, combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water and set over medium-low heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved completely and the syrup is clear, around 8-10 minutes. To prevent crystallization, do not rush this step!
- When the sugar is fully dissolved, raise the heat, continue stirring and add a candy thermometer to the pot. When the syrup begins to boil, stop stirring and leave the mixture alone. Continue heating the sugar without stirring until 350 degrees F and a medium-dark amber color. I highly recommend using a thermometer! Caramel can burn easily if you go even a few degrees above 350.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the whipping cream then the margarine. Be careful because the mixture will sputter and foam at this point.
- When the mixture settles down, stir with a silicon spatula until smooth. Return the pot to the stove and boil again until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F, around 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the salt and vanilla and stir.
- Cool the caramel for 20 minutes, until warm but not too hot, then stir in the peanut butter.