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Caramel topped apples

Watch the syrup constantly and be sure to remove it from the heat immediately it turns a deep golden colour.
Plunging the pan into cold water stops the cooking: take care that no water splashes into the syrup, otherwise it will spit.
Do not sprinkle the chips over the dessert until just before serving, otherwise the caramel will become soft and melt into the mixture.

ingredients

serves 12
6 crisp dessert apples
4 x 150 ml (1/4 pint) cartons soured cream
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 3 oranges
matchstick strips of orange zest, to decorate

caramel chips

100 g (4 oz) granulated sugar
150 ml (1/4 pint) water
vegetable oil, for greasing

method

1. Make the caramel chips: grease a baking tray and put the sugar and water into a small, heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes, until the syrup turns a deep golden colour.

2. Immediately remove from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into a bowl of iced water. Leave for a few seconds until the sizzling stops, then remove pan from water.

3. Pour the syrup immediately into the greased baking tray to make a thin layer. Allow it to become completely cold.

4. Meanwhile, pour the soured cream into a large bowl and stir in sugar. Add orange zest and juice.

5. Core and slice the apples, mix into the soured cream, then turn into a large, shallow serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

6. Crack the set caramel with a rolling pin to form fine chips and sprinkle over the apple mixture. Top with orange zest.

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