The late autumn apples are ripe and ready as the crisp air moves through the branches. The mornings have welcomed frost while the sun still provides some warmth during the daytime. It’s the pivotal moment when autumn shines brightly before winter takes its place.
It’s also the perfect time for delectable treats reminiscent of the season. For me, that always includes apples enveloped in rich caramel that I can hold in my hand and eat while I venture outside among autumn’s warm colors. This year, to give the caramel apples even more depth, I’m adding brown cheese “Brunost” for that incredible Norwegian flavor.
Brown cheese caramel apples are simply divine. There is a richness and a slight tang from the brown cheese that melts into the sweetness of the caramel. I also think there’s something beautiful in drawing in flavors from the farm that compliment each other, especially the pairing of cheese and fruit.
I used apples that I picked from my friend’s orchard, meaning a good variety of sweet and tart apples lacking any wax to scrub off so the caramel can drape perfectly across the apples without sliding off. This caramel recipe also relies on real ingredients – sugar, heavy cream and brown cheese – to create a natural and delicious homemade treat.
For sticks, you can use what nature provides or standard sticks for popsicles and the like. If using sticks from nature, pick ones that are sturdy and strong so they can hold the weight of the caramel apples. After dipping the apples in the caramel, feel free to decorate with generous coatings of nuts, melted chocolate, candies, dried fruits, and spices.
Brown Cheese Caramel Apples
Makes 8 caramel apples
- 8 small to medium tart apples
- 8 sturdy sticks
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 7 ounces (200 g) Ski Queen®/Gudbrandsdalen, sliced or grated
Remove the stems from the apples and wash off any waxy residue, otherwise the caramel will slide off the apples. Put a stick in the center of each apple. Place the apples in the refrigerator until ready to use to help the caramel stick better (unless you’ve just picked them straight from the tree on a cold day).
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the water, sugar and salt to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mixture turns light amber in color, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream, being careful as it will bubble up vigorously, then add in the brown cheese and lower the temperature to medium, stirring constantly to combine and prevent scorching on the bottom, and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
Take an apple and dip it into the caramel, covering it completely except for a little space on the top, and let the excess caramel drip off. Place it on a nonstick surface such as a silicone baking mat. Continue with the remaining apples. If using toppings, add them immediately after dipping the apples in the caramel. Serve once the caramel is set. Store in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for a couple of days.