1200g of crabapples (after cutting out bad spots)
I put these in the crock pot on high for something like three hours, until they mashed with a spoon. I poured all the liquid into a big pot (should’ve used the small pot and made less dishes, since the small one is what I needed for the candying) and then we tried using a strainer and potato masher to extract the juice. Mostly, that made a mess. Scooping the pulp into a towel (cheesecloth would have been better) worked reasonably well and turned the applesauce-consistency pulp into a thick, very sour paste.
The liquid boiled for about 30 minutes, I think, but I was not able to really keep time because I was multitasking with making dinner. Once it was syrupy, I measured it and had just over half a cup, so I figured I could use the Smitten Kitchen apple cider caramel recipe as-is from that point. One stick of butter, 1 cup of sugar, .5c of brown sugar and 1/3c of cream went in, and I swore at myself for not cutting up the butter.
I did a little cutting in the pot, and stirred a tiny bit, and mostly waited while the candy did its thing. I ignored the buttered parchment and poured straight into a silicone 8×8″ pan, which worked beautifully. A smaller pan would have made thicker caramels—these ended up around .25″ thick and had to be rolled a bit to end up as oblong caramel candy shapes. I definitely couldn’t get Kraft cube caramels from these. The silicone worked so well that I wonder if I could get pre-shaped caramels if I put these into a shaped silicone pan, like the robots or Legos I used for crayons (only not actually those, since I am not 100% convinced by the food safety of random crayons and they definitely don’t come totally clean).
These have a gorgeous pinkish color, and taste sour and sweet and awesome. Kind of like what a candy apple should be.