Despite my aversion to the horrible extreme cold, there is one thing in particular that I miss about Minnesota. Apple season! The days are crisp; the evenings are cold. The trees are dripping with all kinds of red and green sweet deliciousness. My years in Minnesota helped me master my homemade apple pie and finally learn how to make a fail-proof pie crust! Caramel apples line the shelves of nearly every country store. Mmmmm…. SO good! I knew I had to figure out how to get that amazing buttery-salty-sweet-crisp-crunchy taste in an easy to make, easy to take form so I could enjoy it camping. Let’s hear it for the Caramel Apple Salad!
There’s nothing that can compete with a huge crispy, sweet apple coated in gooey, sticky, salty, drippy caramel precariously perched on the end of a stick that has no business holding up all that yumminess. Nothing! But… this Caramel Apple Salad is a close second. And it’s super easy to make, super convenient to take with you, and super simple to clean up. Yep – all the bases are covered here.
All it takes is a little help from Cool Whip, a pack of instant pudding, and some premade caramel sauce (well, a little more than that, but not much!) Pack it all up in a zip-top bag, toss it into your cooler and take it along any camping outing or potluck. It will most definitely be one of the first dishes to disappear.
Here’s How To Make This Delectable Caramel Apple Salad
Mix a pack of vanilla instant pudding with a tub of Cool Whip. Add 6 diced apples (I use a mix of Granny Smith for tartness and Red Delicious for sweetness). A squeeze of fresh lime juice and a handful of mini chocolate chips, and fold it all together. Top with a drizzle of rich salted caramel. Serve it up and dig in!
To call it a “salad,” however, is a bit disingenuous. Feel free to serve it right along the main entree, of course, because that’s where “salads” go. Really though…. it’s dessert. Sweet, whipped creamy, chocolatey, caramel-y, coated apples. Yes, definitely dessert. But I’m sticking with calling it salad. How about you? And with every bite, just close your eyes and imagine that unforgettable smell of fall – leaves mixing with the earth, bonfires, the crisp whiff of clean air, and apples ripening among the orchards. I most definitely miss that about Minnesota.