Red Hot Apples

My husband has a 40 year old memory of eating apples from a jar at his Aunt’s house. They were small and red and sweet and good. That’s the description I have to work with.

Some time ago we were eating lunch at a old-school joint in Los Angeles and they had a cinnamon apple on offer, so we ordered one. It wasn’t red nor was it small; but it apparently tasted similar to Mike’s memory. To me, it tasted like a handful of red hots.

It so happens that I am a bit of a horder of nostalgic candies, which meant I had some red hots to spare, so I gave it a go. These are really cute, and tasty. Delicious? No, but nice. However, if you are a fan of cinnamon sugared apples, these might be something you will love.

I used standard poaching technique as you would do for pears. Instead of wine, spices, and zest, I used a bag of red-hots.
who knew?
After preparing the warm crimson bath, I thought to check the internet and there are quite a few recipes for cinnamon apples {many using red hots} so I figured I was on the right track.
I imagine these would be beautiful canned in their own syrup, warmed over ice cream, or as an oversized “cherry” crowning a soft warm chocolate cake
Or you can enjoy as we do, one by one; the soft sourness of the crab apple paired with the sticky sweet of the red hot is a lovely combination.

red-hot apples

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1-14oz bag red hots
pinch of kosher salt
a dozen or so crab apples, peeled (you can core from the bottom if you like

Place the sugar, water, red hots and salt in a heavy pot. heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the red hots melt properly (they tend to stick to the bottom of the pan).  Once everything is melted, bring the mixture to a simmer and gently plop in the apples.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes (these soften quickly, so pay attention).  Remove apples and place in a shallow storage pan, cover with hot syrup. Let cool a bit, then store in the refrigerator.  
*note…there is quite a bit of extra syrup when all is said and done.  you can use it to make more apples, or you can put it in a jar and use it for cocktails.

ps. I took a few of these and put them in a pickling brine with mustard seed and star anise and they made a nice condiment for pork.