Gluten Free Tipsy Caramel Apple Popcorn with Apple-Infused Vodka Recipe

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sweet apple leather, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and a syrup of apple-infused vodka coat freshly popped popcorn in this delicious sweet and salty treat!
Tipsy Caramel Apple Popcorn from
Serves 2 to 4

Tipsy Caramel Apple Popcorn with Apple-Infused Vodka 

Popcorn is one of my go-to treats. I'm not sure what it is about it, but ever since I was a child, I was obsessed by it and always looked forward to devouring those multi-flavor popcorn tins at Christmastime. This tipsy caramel apple popcorn is a more sophisticated approach on a childhood favorite treat. Delicious popcorn gets dressed in a sweet combo of cinnamon, vanilla sugar and apple vodka syrup. Scatter over some homemade apple leather pieces and you've got a classic on your hands.

If you want to do this recipe justice, there's a bit of advanced prep required for the apple-infused vodka and for the apple leather. I left my vodka and apples infusing for a month for using it in this recipe. Alternatively, Apple Bite vodka would work if you're in a pinch.

I made this for an afternoon snack but it'll go down well at a Christmas party or even, if you package it nicely, as a Christmas present! I popped my own popcorn for this recipe, but if you prefer, it tastes just as well with microwave popcorn. Just make sure your get sweet and not buttery or salty popcorn. And while this recipe contains alcohol, the cooking of the syrup burns off the alcohol. However, you may decide to reserve this specific batch of popcorn as an adults only treat.
Close up of Tipsy Caramel Apple Popcorn from

Tipsy Caramel Apple Popcorn with apple leather and apple-infused vodka from


For the popcorn
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 apple
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp cinnamon + 1 tbsp
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsps vanilla sugar
apple syrup

For the apple syrup
2 1/2 tbsp butter
200 ml apple-infused vodka
200 ml apple juice


Tipsy Caramel Apple Popcorn with Apple-Infused Vodka 

For the apple-infused vodka
  1.  Pour 300 ml of vodka into an air-tight canister. Core and quarter two to three apples and drop into the container, being sure that they are fully submerged. Leave the canister closed for at least one month to allow the vodka to properly infuse. Give the canister a shake every now and then. I shook it once nearly every day. After the month is up, get ready to make this recipe!
 For the apple leather
  1. Preheat your oven to 60C/ 140F. Core and thinly slice a washed apple. I used a Braeburn. 
  2. Arrange the slices on a parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar. 
  3. Place the tray in the oven, propped open with a wooden spoon and dry the apple slices for at least an hour, turning halfway through. You don't want crunchy apple crisps, you want the apple slices to still be soft and leathery. When this texture is achieved, cut the apple slices into eighths.
For the popcorn
  1. Pop the popcorn by pouring the sunflower into a medium-sized saucepan with a good-fitting lid, over medium heat.
  2. Drop in a few kernels and place the lid on the saucepan. When the kernels start to pop, carefully tip up the lid and pour in the rest of the kernels.
  3. Pop the rest of the kernels, keeping the lid closed and agitating the pan with a gentle shake every 30 seconds or so for about 2 minutes, or until the popping has mostly stopped. 
  4. Carefully remove the lid. Be sure that you're not standing over the saucepan when you remove the lid as a few kernels could still pop from the residual heat.
  5. Pour the popcorn into a glass bowl and set aside to cool completely.
  6. Combine the remaining cinnamon, vanilla sugar with the brown sugar in a small bowl.
For the apple syrup
  1. Pour the apple juice and vodka into a small saucepan.
  2. Bubble away for at least 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. 
  4. Let cool. When cool completely (this might take up to 45 minutes) pour the syrup over the popcorn. 
  5. Toss the syrup-doused popcorn with the cinnamon and sugar mix and scatter over the apple leather.

Adults only Tipsy Caramel Apple Popcorn from

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