Ultimate Guide to Gourmet Apples
Gourmet apples have been a popular holiday gift for the last decade or so, thanks to the now ubiquitous TV shopping channels and online gourmet gift stores. So what exactly are they and why would you want to give them as a gift? Read on to find out more about these scrumptiously different holiday treats and what options are available.
First, you have the traditional type of caramel apple. This will be the kind you are most familiar with. You’ve probably seen them at county fairs, fall events and Halloween parties. Caramel apples are made by dipping a super fresh apple into a melted caramel mixture, and then the apples are set on a tray to allow the caramel to harden. The apples used are most typically of the Granny Smith variety. The crisp, tart Granny Smith apple is the best apple for dipping in anything sweet since it offers the best contrast to the typically very sweet caramel coatings. For high end gourmet caramel apples, they will use jumbo Granny Smith apples so that they can be covered with a lot of the caramel coating and any additional toppings. The finished product is often so large, that one cannot just bite it. Instead, most people cut it into slices to serve.
For those who make caramel apples at home, most people won’t go through the trouble of making their own batch of caramel to dip the apples in. Instead, they will more likely buy a bag of ready-made caramels and then melt them. While this enables you to make caramel apples very easily, the ready-made caramels just don’t offer the same flavor and texture of the higher end gourmet apples. With gourmet apples that you purchase, you’ll be getting apples that were dipped in high quality caramel made from scratch using cream, butter, sugar and vanilla. Making great caramel at home requires time, technique and exceptional ingredients. This is why buying your caramel apples will often be the best option for people who want this high end gourmet treat, especially if you are giving them as gifts.
Chocolate Covered Apples
The next kind of apple available is the chocolate covered kind. This is the kind that is most often featured on home shopping channels and is the most popular to give as a gift. They start with a Granny Smith apple that has been dipped in caramel then cooled. Once it is cooled, the chocolate goes on. Some apples are dipped completely in chocolate while others have chocolate striping applied to them. The striping effect makes for a stunning look especially when the maker is using one or more types of chocolate. Some apples even use colored chocolate, so you can purchase gourmet apples that have been dipped in caramel then covered in red, green and brown chocolate, which makes for a stunning looking holiday gift. For Valentine’s Day, you might get an apple covered in pink, white and brown chocolate. Or during the fall, they might cover the apple in orange, white and brown chocolate stripes. Some makers take their apples to the next level with multiple types of chocolate on the same apple. Imagine having white, milk and dark chocolate all on one apple. What an incredible dessert that would be.
The next type of apple we have is the topped apple. These apples start with the caramel, then they get covered in chocolate, and then the decadence gets taken a step further with toppings. The toppings can be applied on the top or the sides of the apple by rolling it in the topping, usually nuts, before the caramel is hardened. Common nuts used include pecans, cashews, walnuts or even a mixture of nuts. It doesn’t just stop at nuts though; you can also find apples that are topped with candies like chocolate chips or chocolate wafers. Gourmet apples with chocolate and a topping are sure to delight guests at any holiday event with their fancy appearance and unique flavor combination.
Another type of gourmet apple has more recently been introduced. I’m talking about the miniature gourmet apple. These apples are just like their larger counterparts made with the jumbo Granny Smith apples, except they are miniature in size. These make a wonderful gift for kids. However, they make an even more wonderful wedding favor. Wedding guests would surely enjoy seeing these stunning looking petite apples on their table or in a gift bag. Petite apples are available in traditional flavors as well as the more fitting white chocolate. Imagine giving your guests these adorable little apples that are covered in a lacy white chocolate.
What makes gourmet apples a great treat to serve guests?
Quite simply, there is nothing like biting into a fresh, juicy, tart apple that has been covered in creamy, sweet caramel and covered in chocolate. You get the tartness of the apple, then the buttery richness of the caramel and then the chocolate hits you, and who doesn’t love chocolate. There’s nothing else like it. Even for people who don’t care for fruit in their desserts, gourmet apples are a treat you must try for yourself. You’ll be astonished at how luxurious it will taste.
Who would enjoy a gourmet apple as a gift?
Well, just about anyone would enjoy getting a gourmet apple as a gift. These luscious treats make the perfect gift for any holiday, birthday or other occasion. Quite simply, no one can resist a gourmet apple gift. Gourmet apples are an especially thoughtful gift around the fall or winter holiday season, since this is the time when the best apples are available. Gourmet apples make a superb hostess gift if you are attending a fall event like Thanksgiving, a Halloween party or Oktoberfest event.
The best time of the year to give gourmet apples as a gift though, is certainly during Christmas time. Gourmet foods are a massively popular type of gift to give for Christmas. People just love receiving a fancily decorated gourmet food gift to enjoy during the holiday season.