2 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup salted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon apple pie spice (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Apple pie spice:
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pour cider into a heavy bottomed saucepan and boil uncovered on high until the cider is reduced to 1/3 cup (check by pouring into measuring cup). This takes 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1″ hanging over the edges for easy removal.
In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup heavy cream, apple pie spice, cinnamon, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.
In a measuring cup, place 1/3 cup heavy cream and add enough water to reach the 1/2 cup line on the measuring cup. Add the corn syrup. In the same heavy bottomed saucepan that was used to reduce the cider, place the sugar and the heavy cream/water/corn syrup mixture. Stir while cooking over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert a candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.
Remove the saucepan from heat and slowly whisk in the heavy cream/spice/cider mixture. Add the cubed butter to the saucepan and stir until the cream mixture and the butter are fully incorporated. Return the saucepan to low heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 248 degrees (soft ball).
Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Cut the caramels into 1″ squares and wrap each caramel in wax paper or cellophane squares. Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe adapted from: http://ourbestbites.com/2010/11/apple-cider-caramels/