One of the things I love most about our location in Michigan is the plentiful and diverse fruit picking options. Our sandy soil generally produces abundant crops of fruit throughout the warmer months of the year. We start with strawberries and raspberries, move into cherries, blueberries, and then apples and grapes. It’s something we look forward to each year and we thoroughly enjoy being outdoors, picking our own fruit, and spending time together as a family. Even Shea was around for apples this year, though I’m sure she’ll be much more appreciative next year 😉
While I enjoy all fruit picking, there’s something about fall and picking apples that is especially enjoyable.
When I come home from the orchard with tens of pounds of apples, my mind races with all that I can make. I enjoy pairing the perfect variety of apple with the perfect recipe, and there is simply no smell I’d rather have wafting through my house than apple. That smell alone makes any house feel like a home.
While I get creative with my apples, Mr. Prevention drinks gallons of apple cider. Thick, rich, silky apple cider – naturally so sweet it’s a dessert in and of itself. And available for only a short period of time each year, he’s always sure to capitalize.
While I try not to drink my calories (other than cream in my coffee or alcoholic beverages, that is!) – apple cider is hard to resist. When my in-laws showed up with a gallon of cider for us…after Mr. Prevention had just stocked up, I knew even Mr. P would struggle to finish off all the cider. So naturally, I decided to try my hand at a recipe using apple cider…and make my house smell amazing.
In this recipe, I upped the flavor by swapping out the cinnamon and swapping in McCormick’s Apple Pie Spice. Absolute perfection in bite-sized 55 calorie portions of classic fall goodness. Having too much apple cider is never a bad thing 😉
- 2 cups fresh apple cider (non-alcoholic)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- ¼ tsp apple pie spice
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- In a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, boil the apple cider until it reduces to ¼ cup (about 30 minutes).
- Meanwhile, line a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and mist with cooking spray.
- Once the cider is reduced, lower the heat and add the butter, sugars, and heavy cream. Raise the heat using a candy thermometer, bring the mixture to 255 F over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally.
- Once temperature is reached, stir in the apple pie spice and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into bite-sized pieces and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post as a contribution to the 2014 McCormick Health & WellnessBlogger Program. All opinions are my own.
We’re heading off for a walk down by the water…so pretty here! 😀
Those look insulin worthy Nicole! Enjoy your walk! 😀
We’ve missed apple picking the past two years and it makes me terribly sad! But regardless, I’ll be making a giant batch of these! they look divine!
These look to die for! I can’t believe they’re only 55 calories 🙂
Every fall I saw I am going to made cider caramels but I never do. Maybe this year 🙂
I tried this recipe and I absolutely loved it! The caramels were perfect…not too sweet 🙂
🙂 Agreed, Jackie! Now I want one, lol!