Caramel apples are as classic as fall treats get, and caramel anything always gets my attention. However, biting into a big, gooey, caramel-coated apple can be a little messy, although that doesn’t stop me. Here, the same flavors were brought together in the form of an ice cream sundae eaten neatly with a spoon. The ice cream is packed full of tart, apple flavor with just a hint of an edge from the added cognac, and the caramel topping with pecans makes it a frozen caramel apple delight. This is from My Favorite Ingredients, a book I can’t seem to put down for long. The ice cream is very appley and not too decadent as it’s made with five pureed apples, a little cream, and no eggs. Of course, the caramel ups the decadence quotient, but I think caramel is always worth it in that regard.
The size or weight of the apples wasn’t specified, but I used three smaller, local apples and two larger fujis from the grocery store. They were peeled, cored, chopped and pureed in a blender with lemon juice, cognac, and some sugar. Once smooth, two-thirds of a cup of cream was added and blended into the mixture. That went into my ice cream maker to churn. The caramel sauce was made with sugar and water which was cooked in a saucepan until it reached a nice, amber color. Cream was added which makes it spatter violently, and then it was cooked while stirring until smooth. A little sea salt was added directly to the sauce. Toasted, chopped pecans garnished the sundaes, and I can never resist adding a few flakes of sea salt on top of caramel.
This dessert took Kurt by surprise. After his first bite, he proclaimed it to be very good. Then, he further commented on how nicely pronounced the appleness was in the ice cream. The fresh apple flavor really came through even with the caramel sauce on top, and those two things together, in a messy treat or a tidy one, are just meant to be.