While I was home last weekend I decided to take advantage of one of the northwest’s seasonal fruits, the sweet and juicy pear. Rather than make traditional caramel apples for my family and friends, I decided to use bosc pears because their coloring blends perfectly with caramel and makes quite the dark gold display. I also used dark corn syrup in the caramel sauce to give it a nice rich toffee flavor and added some salt to help contrast the sweetness of the pears. And since it is near Halloween, I switched out the popsicles sticks with creepy dead branches to give them what I referred to as a “Tim Burton-y effect“. The result was a slightly eerie, very juicy, and incredibly delicious fall treat.
I also wanted to announce that, after much heeing and hawing, I have finally opened an Etsy shop with prints of some of the photographs from Adventures in Cooking. The photos displayed are the ones I currently have in stock, but I can have prints of any photograph made from any of my posts, just email me at evamariekosmas at gmail dot com and let me know your request! I am very excited to share these prints with all of you!
Place a popsicle stick into the top center of each pear. Set them aside. Lay out a sheet of wax paper on a flat surface. In a small pot bring the butter, brown sugar, dark corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring every few minutes. Continue cooking until the temperature of the mixture reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit with a candy thermometer, stirring every minute or two. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
To dip the pears in the caramel, you can either hold the pear slightly sideways and turn it over the caramel until it is covered, or fill a large mason jar or glass about 2/3 full with the caramel sauce and dip the pear in it vertically, leaving about 2 inches of headspace on the pear. Hold the pear over the caramel sauce for 20-30 seconds, allowing the excess caramel to drip off. Then place the pear on the sheet of wax paper and allow it to cool to room temperature. Before serving, grab the un-carameled top of the pear and pull out the popsicle stick, then replace it with the decorative branch (optional).