Leaves are turning bright red, yellow and orange. The smell of fresh cider and hot cinnamon donuts lingers in the air. Swimsuits and suntan lotion are traded for hayrides, wool blankets and cold metal bleachers at football games. It's fall in Michigan! The apples are abundant and it is the perfect time of year to make caramel apples.
The caramel apple has an uncertain history. Some say that a Kraft caramel salesman is credited with the first commercially publicized caramel apple. In the 1950's a man by the name of Dan Walker convinced Kraft to print and publicize a caramel apple recipe on the back of their wrapped caramel packages. It was an instant success. Families were able to make simple caramel apples with just three ingredients. An apple, a wooden stick and packaged caramels from Kraft. While this is a very heartwarming story, many historians would disagree, stating that there are recipes for caramel dating back to the 1700's and even earlier.
Caramel apples may be as simple as opening a bag of caramels, but why not bring it to gourmet status with homemade caramel enhanced with Tahitian vanilla beans? True Tahitian vanilla beans are grown on the island of Tahiti. The vanilla pods are picked 4-6 months into their growing stage, often before they are ripe. If allowed to ripen, the pods will split and the vanilla caviar within the pod will dry up. The growers then wash and place the pods on a blanket in the sun to dry and cure. The vanilla bean has very little flavor when first picked, but once they are sun-dried and cured, an enzymatic reaction occurs and the flavors develop into what we know as vanilla. Tahitian vanilla beans are unique as they are more plump than other varieties, and their flavor profile is distinctly floral and fruity. The Tahitian vanilla bean is perfect in desserts where you want the vanilla flavor to be the star. Our Tahitian vanilla beans are direct from Tahiti. The quality of the vanilla bean is superb and is sure to make your caramel apples out of this world!