If you are an avid reader of The Chopping Blog and a loyal customer to our Lincoln Square location, I don’t have to explain to you what Apple Fest is. But if you are a newcomer, then get ready for the biggest apple festival in Chicago!
Apple Fest is exactly what you might expect, a festival celebrating all things apple. This year, the festival will last two days, October 1st and 2nd and will be located on Lincoln Ave. between Lawrence and Eastwood. It will begin at 9am and end at 6pm each day, and will feature a variety of activities and vendors such as live music, amazing food, and even children’s activities.
Here at The Chopping Block, we’re celebrating Apple Fest by once again serving our most iconic (and nostalgic) staple: our famous Apple Pie! These pies will be baked in a cast iron Lodge skillet and served with handmade whipped cream. If pies aren't you’re thing (in which case, we need to have a talk), The Chopping Block will also be serving hot, ready to order, pulled pork sandwiches topped with an apple slaw. Be sure to stop buy and grab yourself some delicious food and be sure to say hello!
There is a running joke that I am the “Pinterest mom” of The Chopping Block. Which is actually very true, so in celebration of Apple Fest (and so I can keep my Pinterest mom status) I decided to test one of my favorite apple themed pins: Mini caramel apples!
Mini Caramel Apples
Here's what you'll need:
- Granny smith apples (one apple will yield about 9 balls)
- A melon baller
- Any toppings you’d like, such as pecans
- Caramel for dipping
The Chopping Block sells these convenient caramel apple kits that will make this project so much quicker.
- Peel the apples.
- Use the melon baller to scoop out little spheres.
- With a paper towel, pat each apple sphere down to remove any moisture. This step is crucial because any moisture left on the surface of the spheres will cause the caramel to slide right off.
- Once the apples are patted dry, insert your skewers into each of the spheres and dip them in your melted caramel. Be sure to cover where the skewer meets the apple so the skewer doesn’t come out later.
- This is a step that I had to learn through trial and error: grab yourself a bowl full of ice water and place your dipped caramel apples into the water to cool down and firm up for a couple of seconds. This step will ensure that your work surface, as well as your hands, will not be covered in hot caramel.
- Once the little caramel apples have firmed up for a bit, cover them in whatever toppings you like and set them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
These treats are great for kids who throw away the apple once they have devoured the caramel. Admittedly, I still am one of those kids. These treats can go from kid friendly to sophisticated in a snap by choosing the right toppings. I added flakes of sea salt to some (not pictured) after I took the photos, which came out delicious.
To get you even more excited for Apple Fest, we are hiding an apple (fake, not real) in each of our stores every day this week through Sunday. The person who finds the hidden apple each day will win a free cooking class. So, stop in for the search to win. See you this weekend at Lincoln Square's Apple Fest!