Whole Baked Jersey Caramel Apple Parcels
I remember when I was in primary school, my mum would regularly bake muffins for us to pack in our lunch boxes. White choc raspberry was always a popular choice, but on occasion, we would score some Jersey Caramel muffins, and these were my favourite kind! The Jersey Caramels melted into a gorgeous caramel goo, not quite a sauce, but no longer a Jersey Caramel either, and it was sooo delicious! I lived for those muffins! So when I decided to do my own take on baked caramel apples, I knew that this childhood flavour of gooey Jersey Caramels was going to be at the center of it… literally.
These gorgeous whole baked apples are as much a Jersey Caramel recipe, as they are an apple recipe because when wound together within these beautiful pastry parcels, they complete each other. The Jersey Caramels stew into a thin, sweet caramel sauce at the core of a gorgeously tart Granny Smith Apple. Baking the apple whole ensures that telltale tang of the green apple doesn’t cook away completely, it’s still there, just a little more subtle. And all those contrasting yet complimentary sweet and sour flavours are wrapped up inside a buttery, flaky puff pastry parcel. What’s better yet? It’s so quick and easy to throw together! Core the apple, stuff it full of Jersey Caramels, wrap it in a sheet of ready-bought puff pastry and let the oven do the rest. But although this recipe is simple, it doesn’t look or taste that way! This Whole Baked Apple Jersey Caramel recipe rivals even the best apple pies. I know, bold statement! And everyone I’ve made them for was in awe of their simple, rustic beauty. It’s quick, easy, tastes amazing and looks gorgeous… do you need anything else? Seriously, what else do you want from me?
On a side note, I only just realized while writing up this blog post that I’ve been calling these little squares of caramel goodness, Caramel Jerseys my whole life.. when they are in fact, Jersey Caramels… am I going mad or did their name change?… I’m probably just going mad. What are they called where you’re from?
MY TOP TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE
#1 While it’s still warm, your stove-top Jersey Caramel mixture will be super sticky and hard to work with. Let it cool completely and it will re-set into a malleable paste similar to the original consistency of the Jersey Caramels but softer, meaning they’re easier to work with. Be patient and wait until they’ve reached this state to ensure you can really pack as much Jersey Caramel into each baked caramel apple as is humanly possible.
#2 If it’s a warm day, defrost your frozen pastry sheets underneath a slightly damp, clean tea towel to prevent it from drying too much and cracking when you try to fold it. On a similar note, if any of the edges of your pastry looks dry, use a ruler as a guide and cut off that edge with a sharp knife. Dry edges will greatly hamper your ability to get a neat parcel.
#3 To wrap your apples up neatly, place you’re apple in the center of your pastry sheet, bring in two opposite corners to overlap atop the apple, then using the side of your hand, press down very lightly on the pastry roughly where the lines highlighted by the orange in the diagram below are showing while you fold the corner in. This will encourage the pastry to fold where you hand is meaning it’ll be a controlled, straight fold and in close to the apple to prevent too much empty space within the parcel.
#4 If your wrapping goes completely arai, complete all the steps listed in tip number 2, and then just press all your pastry in hard up against the apple to create a pastry ‘ball’ rather than a parcel’ it still cooks exactly the same and looks great too! It’s just a fail-safe way to save your pastry if the folding doesn’t quite go according to plan.