So, sugar is sweet. End of story. People like sweet stuff, make lots, sell it, retire to that single-wide somewhere warm.
I’m lucky because when I want to incorporate a different flavor into a confection I often just have to walk a few steps to grab something great. Charlie Brown sells apples, apple pies, apple cider and truckloads and truckloads of sweet corn. Along with lots of other stuff.
Charlie has been a vendor at the Rutland Farmers’ Market for 37 or 38 years. I forgot how many years it was, he didn’t. A couple of years after he began selling here he decided to buy his father’s farm and he gave me a rundown of the four banks, the four loans, and what has amounted to twenty or thirty years worth of four monthly payments. He’s still smiling, although he could be remembering when he used to race stock cars at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
So a pint of Charlie’s apple cider is reduced by half to one cup. I add cinnamon, allspice and ground cloves.
The Whistlepig is for another recipe, calm down. The caramels get cooked, substituting a cup of apple cider concentrate for one cup of the cream. If it looks like there’s going to be a run of warm weather I’ll cook it 5 degrees warmer, to 255F.
It needs to rest overnight, so those sugar crystals can do their thing, then it gets cut, wrapped, boxed, and they’re ready for market.