SAVEUR test kitchen director Kellie Evans developed this decadent recipe—a no-holds-barred combination of earthy white truffles, salty pistachios, and rich caramel—after a trip to the Oregon Truffle Festival, where she was inspired by chef Dustin Clark of Wildwood Restaurant and Bar in Portland. The popcorn kernels require at least 8 hours to infuse with truffle aroma, so plan ahead—if you don't happen to have a white truffle lying around, skip the infusion and finish the caramel corn with a bit of truffle salt.
- 1 small white truffle (about ⅛ oz.)
- 1⁄2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1⁄2 tsp. canola oil
- 1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
- 1⁄4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 1 tbsp. white truffle salt, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Place truffle and popcorn kernels in an airtight container; refrigerate at least overnight, and up to 24 hours.
The next day, remove truffle and finely chop; set aside. Heat oven to 250°. Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over high heat. Add popcorn, cover and cook, shaking pan constantly, until popping subsides, 6–8 minutes. Let sit 1 minute. Grease a foil-lined baking sheet; cover with popcorn.
Combine butter, sugar, syrup, and cream of tartar in a 2-qt. saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is a dark brown and registers 260°, 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pistachios, truffle salt, vanilla, and chopped truffle. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and mix until evenly coated; spread coated popcorn in an even layer on the greased baking sheet. Bake until caramel is soft again, 25–30 minutes. Stir popcorn to redistribute caramel, and garnish with more truffle salt, if you like. Cool before serving.