Friday, September 16, 2011

Taffy Apple Salad

As in so many good foods - the secret’s in the sauce.  I’ve wanted to try this every fall for a few years - and I shouldn’t have delayed so long.  There are other salads by the same name, but they all taste like caramel (from brown sugar).  This sauce isn’t as heavy (NOT like taffy) - and the apples really shine as a result.  

There are literally hundreds of versions of Taffy Apple Salad out there - and most of them come from “Aunt ______” (fill in the blank).  The ingredients alone would define it as a dessert - but most of us feel better calling it a salad.  

It begins with a sauce made from pineapple juice, sugar, egg, and cornstarch. The true “caramel” versions include brown sugar & vinegar - making it taste similar to taffy.  Most recipes call for marshmallows - and they all use whipped topping to complete the dish right before serving.  

This recipe differs in that the sauce is added to the whipped topping while hot - making it slightly translucent, allowing the colors to show through.  

This is the version where the sauce turns translucent
because you add it to the topping while hot...
As you can see - I added the sauce once it was almost cool.  Why, you ask?  Have YOU ever forgotten to take the CoolWhip out of the refrigerator before you need it?  I’m notorious for procrastinating that step.  That’s why mine looks creamy enough to hide the beautiful fruit and nuts.  Next time, I’ll follow the directions as stated.

Most recipes call for salted peanuts.  I chose to add cashews instead - and I think even toasted pecans would be great.  Next time I’ll add those right before serving to keep them crisp.
Don’t worry about refrigerating this for a few hours before serving - the apples don’t turn brown with all that sugar & acid from the pineapple.  If you like your marshmallows to be soft and starting to melt into the sauce - add them at the beginning so they have time to break down.  Whatever you do - don’t add the sauce while it’s hot (or even warm) to keep it from decreasing the crunch of the apples.  (You don’t want then to taste stewed).  

Everyone who tried this loved it - they were especially surprised to find cashews in the mix.  (The only reason I used them is because salted peanuts aren't my favorite - I have expensive taste)

For this adapted version of a classic recipe, go to:

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