Friday, January 8, 2010

Candied Apples and Family Recipes

I knew I was late posting a Thanksgiving recipe for a reason.
The reason is, so that I can start a new year by being a part of:

Family Recipes is an event hosted by Shelby of "The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch", Laura of "the Spiced Life", and Lynda of "Lynda's Recipe Box".

Check it out here for complete details.
I always call dishes such as these, weird foods from my youth, (we have a lot of them)  because I've never seen anyone else make them, EVER.
I'm sure they do, because I used to think that my grandma's hot buttered rum recipe was a family secret too, but have since found out that it's a "very popular" recipe for homemade batter.
By now, I'm sure you're wondering what?  What is she making that is so "weird"?   (but good).
I will tell you...
Candied Apples.
My great-grandmother made them:  Lillian Staggs
My grandmother made them:  Irene Shaver
My mother makes them:  Beverly Hambelton
and I make them: Debbie Stone
and I love them.  They are a tradition.
The handwritten recipe below comes from my great-grandmother, Lillian.
(notice no paragraphs or punctuation)

Notice that she says it makes a "colorful" dish.
And that's the truth.
These are not the candied apples of carnivals...
...but more of a spiced/cinnamon whole applesauce kind of thing.
Like a baked apple, only not baked.
cooked on top of the stove

Candied Apples 
 (taken verbatim from my great-grandmother)
I get apples about the same size
I've always cooked them in that heavy frying pan
about twelve or thirteen apples.
Core your apples first and peel
fill centers with those little red cinnamon candies and  put
enough sugar over them so juice thickens about like Jelly
and I keep turning them with two forks until they
are tender generally a few at a time are ready to take out
if the juice gets too thick I keep pouring a little water to it as they cook and I add red food coloring from the first thats what colors them red
Hope you can read and make this out
you can rewrite it if you can read it once
I think that's all there is to it.
It makes a colorful dish
Love, grandmother

Now I will translate:
find about 8-12 small apples that cook up well  (won't turn mushy)
Actually,  Rome apples work well, or Golden Delicious.
Peel and core them.
place in a heavy frying pan
fill with "red hots"  (little cinnamon candies)
pour extra candies around the apples.
Add a bit of water and a bit of sugar, and a bit of red food coloring
simmer apples , until candies melt and you think the apples are "red" all the way thru.
Keep in fridge, serve cold.

The Trick is to try and get the "red" color all the way thru the apples without them turning to "mush".
you want them whole, like a baked apple.
Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the finishes product.

Here we go.....
Counting to see how many apples will fit in the pan.

Peeled, cored and filled with red hots!

It is okay if there is a bit of peel left on the apple. It happens.

My mother adding a bit of sugar...she was very fast.
Consider this a "action" shot.
She has her old Tupperware scoop. It's been in our sugar bin since I was a kid.

Another "action" shot.... as she began to turn the apples.  I don't think she was using "2 forks", but some tongs.
My mom never quite got the "hold it...I'm going to take a picture" of this candied apple making process.

Pouring the "juice" over and over and over the apples, so they get the color thru and the "red hot" flavor.

My mom.  On the phone.  While making candied apples for me.

We always serve these apples as a....
not really a salad
nor a dessert
but, rather,
with the cranberries.

If you like applesauce, baked apples or apple pie. 
(or red hots, fire styx,  atomic fireballs, all candies of the 1960's and 70's , or candied apples from your old carnival days)
You'll probably like these.

I am submitting this to the Family Recipe Event.


Diane {} said...

My son is going to love this, he loves homemade applesauce. I will have to have him help me. I love the color-so pretty!

Cathy said...

Wow, aren't these fun! I remember something similar when I was a child but don't recall who made them, probably my grandmother.

I think old, handwritten recipes are a real treasure. Thanks for sharing this.

Karen said...

Great photos! I love old hand written recipes. There's just something about seeing the handwriting and knowing who wrote it... it's like having them back with you for a moment. These apples look so good and they look like they're fun to make, too!

HoneyB said...

I love it! I really love your grandmothers instructions! I probably would love these (as I am sucking on a atomic fire ball as I type this - NO KIDDING). Thanks Debbie, I'm so glad to have you participate this month! ;-)

~Jess said...

Love finding old handwritten recipes!

We had some ladies (probably in their 70s) asking for red hots in the store to make applesauce...we'd never heard of it, but boy did those red hots fly off the shelves!

teresa said...

what a fun family recipe, i love how pretty and red they are.

Donna-FFW said...

Such charm to those handwritten recipes. I would cherish that!! The candided apples sound delicious! Gorgeous color.

Laura said...

Wow what a fabulous submission. Just perfect. Love it, and love the post.

Patty From CCTexas said...

I was wandering past, looking for candied apple recipes, when I came upon the most beautiful apples I had ever seen.

Thank you for sharing your family recipe with the world. I will be making these for my family and friends for Halloween. Yes, I plan too early, lol.

Patty From CCTexas said...

I just could not wait until Halloween. I made these yesterday! Please Help!

What did I do wrong? I used 6 granny smiths and only half a tupperware scoop (I have the old one too, lol) of sugar but my family thought they were way too sweet.

We love sweets so I was thinking I used too many candies. And maybe no sugar next time. Can you give me a guestimate on how many I should use per apple, please? I really want mine to be as nice as yours.

Thank you so much!

PS- Do you toss the extra syrup it makes or store your apples in it when refrigerating?

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