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Sweet and Salty

April 2, 2011

My brother has recently been experimenting with making homemade kettle corn — the sweet and salty goodness that you get at the fair.  My mother was insistent that he make me a batch while I was visiting last week.  So yummy!  I love the slightly sweet taste you get along side the lightly salted popcorn.  And that it comes from my kitchen off my stove, and not from a commercial bag out of my microwave, makes it that much better.

Earlier this week the kids wanted an after school snack and begged for popcorn … Uncle’s popcorn.  I gave it a whirl and it worked!  Ha, it worked! Warm, crunchy, sweet and salty goodness.  Yum!

Here’s how to make it.

You’ll need:

a large, tall lidded stock pot
3T oil
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
1 T sugar
1 large bowl

Heat oil in pot, adding 6 or so test kernels of popcorn to the pot.  Put lid on the pot.  I start my heat at about a 5 (medium low heat) and after the first batch turn my head down lower, but my stove top seems hotter than most, and also holds it’s heat, so be careful, you don’t want your heat to be too high or everything will be a black mess in a couple of minutes.

Once your test kernels pop – you’ll hear it don’t worry! – add 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, give the pot a little side to side shake so the kernels are in a single layer on the bottom of the pot, sitting in the layer of oil.  Before putting the lid back on, quickly sprinkles 1T of sugar over the top of the kernels.

With the lid securely on, gently move the pot back and forth on the burner, not removing the pot from the burner, just swirling and shaking the pot back and forth on top of the burner to distribute the sugar and keep it moving so it doesn’t burn.  Once kernels start popping, you can stop moving the pot.  The instant the popping slows and stops, remove the pot from the stove and take off the lid.  Make sure it isn’t burnt and dump popcorn into your serving bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and toss to break up the little clumps of popcorn and distribute the salt.  Watch for the occasional dud … an unpopped  kernel, so no one breaks a tooth, and enjoy!

You don’t have to stop at one batch.  For our family of seven, I make this batch three times.  After you dump the popped corn into your serving bowl, wipe the pot out with a couple of paper towels.  Removing all the excess oil and popcorn bits left behind.  Put pot back on the stove top and repeat.

Want plain popcorn?  Just leave out the sugar – and if you’re leaving out the sugar, a single shake of the kernels to get them in a single layer on the bottom of the pot is all the shaking you need to do.

FYI – I have a glass stove top, and my brother has had the most success with the glass stove top because the pot can glide across the surface of the heat very easily, but my mother has a very old, original to their house stove top and she was able to make this recipe work with a little less shaking and moving of the pot.  Just know that the sugar can burn in an instant which is anything but yummy, so be careful.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2011 12:41 am

    I made your recipe for my kids over the weekend and they LOVED it. Thanks for doing all the test-kitchen vetting. Yum.

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