How to make apple fries with dreamy vanilla-caramel dipping sauce
Cinnamon-sugar apple fries are super easy to make, and so is the wonderful homemade vanilla-caramel sauce that goes with it. It's a dessert that rivals your favorite fast-food side.
Since fries look so cute when served in a cone-shape dish that sits in a rack (and I can't find one of these things to save my life), I used snow cone paper cups for serving these yummy gems. And the "rack" for the snow cones is a colorful plastic shot glass. I just had to snip off the tips of the bottoms of the snow cone paper cups so that they sit upright in the shot glass. I also added a small square piece of parchment paper in each snow cone cup just in case the fries had excess oil on them. But serving dishes don't even really matter when something's this good.
OK, now that the cosmetics are out of the way, on to making these yummies. Granny Smith apples work nicely for these fries. They just need to be peeled, cored and cut into strips, then dredged in cornstarch and fried in a skillet. Once they are a golden color on all sides, transfer them from the pan onto a cooling rack. Then coat them with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
To make the caramel sauce, sugar and water are added to a heavy pan and cooked on low to medium heat.
It's important to watch this sugar mixture closely, because it will get very hot. And it's also important to not stir it. Just shuffle the pan around a little to move the mixture if needed. Make sure to have the ingredients out on the counter and ready to add to this mixture as soon as it turns a golden color.
Here's the golden color to watch out for. Turn off the heat, move the pan off the burner, and slowly pour in the cream while carefully stirring with a heat-resistant spatula. Be super careful while pouring in the cream and stirring this, because the mixture is so hot that it will bubble up a lot.
Then stir in the butter, salt and vanilla. See? Look! It looks like caramel already. Then carefully (super carefully because it's scalding hot) pour it into small jars, let cool, and store in the fridge.
Drizzle over the apple fries, and serve alongside the fries as a dipping sauce.