Today is National New Jersey Day. One of the things I love about each National State Day is that I get the opportunity to learn something new about this amazing country called America. While we seem to be coming apart at the seams, there is still much to be celebrated.
While we think of Kentucky as the place to find horses, New Jersey actually has more horses per square mile than any other state in the union. There are an estimated 27,000 horses in the garden state. That equates to 4 horses per square mile or 1 horse for ever 323 people. It’s no surprise that the horse is the official state animal.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the oldest, and longest boardwalk in the world. First constructed in 1870, it was just 10 feet wide and less than a mile long. No stores or commerce buildings were allowed within thirty feet of the walk. It was simply for the pleasure and convenience of hotel guests along the shore. Today the Boardwalk is 60 feet wide and just over six miles long. And it’s not just for hotel guests anymore.
Be sure to thank New Jersey for Standardize Time, the Electric Light bulb, and the world’s largest spoon collection. There are over 5,400 spoons on display at Lambert Castle.
Finally, in 1908 William Kolb, a candy maker from Newark, New Jersey decided to melt some sugar in a pot, color it red and flavor the syrup with cinnamon. He then dipped some apples into the red syrup and placed his creation in his shop’s window. He wanted to create the perfect green and red candy treat for Christmas. His Candied Apples sold for a nickel each. Their popularity soon spread to the Jersey Shores. It wasn’t long before traveling circuses adapted the candies apples as a treat for circus goers. From there, Candied Apples became a symbol of county fairs throughout the country.
What can I say except thank you New Jersey for many a childhood memory!
Red Candied Apples
12 ripe Granny Smith Apples
12 Popsicle Sticks
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
Dash Cream of Tarter
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 tablespoons Red Food Coloring
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Grease the paper, set aside.
Wash and dry apples. Turn apples stem side up. Remove stem, insert popsicle sticks into the apples about half-way to secure.
Spray a large pot with cooking spray. Secure a candy thermometer to the inside of the pot without allowing thermometer to touch the bottom of the pot.
Add sugar, corn syrup and vanilla to the pot. Heat on high, stirring constantly add Cream of Tarter, cinnamon and red food coloring.
Stir constantly, bring mixture up to a temperature of 277 degrees (soft crack). DO NOT OVERCOOK. Candy coating is ready when it forms a ball when a small amount is dropped into a glass of cool water.
Immediately remove candy coating from heat.
Carefully dip apples, one at a time, into the hot candy mixture. Once an apple has been dipped into the candy, swirl the apple around to keep candy on the apple. Let a little of the coating drip back into the pan, then place the apple on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the apples are coated.
Work fast, as the hot liquid will begin to harden as it cools.
Once the last apple is coated, immediately fill pot with hot water. With hot water, clean candy thermometer, pot, spoons or anything else that has come in contact with the candy coating. Once cooled, it is difficult to clean.
Let apples cool completely before serving. Apples can ben cooled in the refrigerator for a few minutes only. DO NOT store candied apples in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container once hard or wrap in wax paper candy wrappers.