These Chinese-style toffee apples are simply apples fried in a crisp batter and tossed through a molten caramel. The apple pieces are picked up with chopsticks while still warm and dipped into iced water to set the caramel, delivering a crisp crunch with every mouthful.
- 3 Granny Smith apples
- 1 litre canola oil, for deep frying
- 220 g (1 cup) sugar
- toasted sesame seeds and iced water, to serve
- 110 g (¾ cup) self-raising flour
- 30 g (¼ cup) cornflour
- 1 egg
- 185 ml (¾ cup) cold water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Peel and core the apples, then cut into bite-sized pieces and place into a bowl of acidulated water as you go to prevent them from browning.
2. For the batter, place the flours in a large bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and cold water together. Add most of the liquid and stir gently until a thick, lumpy batter forms, adding more liquid if necessary but not over-stirring, lumps are okay for this batter.
3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 180˚C. Place the apple cubes into the batter, then drain off the excess and fry for 3-4 minutes until the apples are golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on a wire rack placed over a tray.
4. Place a wok over medium heat and add the sugar and a dash of water. Cook the sugar to a golden caramel without stirring. You can swirl the wok to help the sugar caramelise evenly if you like.
5. While the sugar is cooking, increase the heat of the oil to 200˚C and fry the apple pieces for just a minute further to crisp the batter. Transfer the apples to the caramel and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately with iced water. To eat, break off a bit of apple with chopsticks and dip it into iced water to set the caramel.
Adam Liaw visits bushfire-affected communities and creates dishes using their local produce in Adam Liaw's Road Trip for Good.