Monday, October 26, 2009

Caramel-Coated Apples


When I went apple-picking last week, I bought a wonderful, vibrantly red candy apple. I knew, right then and there, that I would have to use some of my freshly picked apples to make my own. I ended up deciding to make caramel apples... and what a disaster it was. One of my friends was celebrating his birthday and my plan was to bring him a few caramel apples as a gift. I had never really made caramel apples, but how hard could it be? Well, as it turns out, it's not always that easy! I used a pretty standard recipe at first but for some reason, the caramel would just not stick to the apples. The lovely amber-colored deliciousness dripped down the side of the apples, leaving a pool of soft caramel at their base.

This morning, after a little research, I picked myself up and tried to tackle the monster again. What a difference experience it was this time around! The temperature of the caramel is definitely key to successful caramel-coated apples. You want the coating to be soft enough to be able to coat the apples, but not so soft that it drips and doesn't adhere to the fruit. I added a little molasses to the caramel this time around, which added great richness to the color and the caramel flavor. My tip is to dip the apple in the caramel while it's still hot enough, coat the apples, and place in the fridge immediately to harden for 15 minutes.

The moral of the story might be not to make things for the first time when the plan is to give them away... !

Caramel-Coated Apples

Makes about 10 caramel apples

10 apples (I used Spartan)
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 lightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
2 teaspoons of molasses
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Wash the apples and thoroughly dry them. If they are still wet, the caramel will not stick to the skin. Remove the stems, and insert a wooden stick at the top of each apple, about half-way through. The apples should securely cling to the stick.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease.

In a saucepan on medium heat, add the sugars, butter, corn syrup, molasses, salt and half of the cream. Swirl the pan to make sure all the ingredients come together. Once they have, add the remaining cream. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until the temperature of the mixture reaches 240F.

Remove the caramel from the heat and wait for the liquid to slightly cool (2 minutes). Using a swirling motion and carefully tilting the pan, coat the apples with caramel, leaving an untouched apple circle where the wooden stick is inserted. Let the excess caramel drip off, and place the apples on the parchment paper. Immediately place the apples in the fridge to harden. You may have to do this in batches so that the first coated apples don't stay at room temperature for too long: the quicker they get in the fridge, the better! If the caramel starts to harden and is not thin enough to coat the apples, simply place the saucepan on the heat for a couple minutes before coating more apples.

Leave the apples in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden. Once they have hardened, leave at room temperature. Package as you please. Enjoy!

41 comments:

Meghan said...

These look fantastic! I love how you've decorated the stick of the apple!!! I've only made caramel apples with Kraft caramels, so I'm excited to see a recipe with homemade caramel. Those are even a little tricky because if you overheat them, the caramel gets rock-hard and it's impossible to eat (not that I've ever done that..!) :)

Ravenous Couple said...

these look too good to eat!!

Jennifer said...

With the success of these lovelies in mind, you’re well-prepared for your friend’s birthday next year.

Mini Baker said...

These look delicious! I've never made REAL caramel apples, only caramel apple cake :)
I'll have to give these a try!
-Mini

Mary said...

These are so beautiful I don't think I could bring myself to bite into one. Thanks so much for the tip about the caramel. You've made it easier for the rest of us. Thanks.

Dawn said...

I always love your photos--so crisp and clean.

Rose said...

Outstanding! Those are beautiful. I am not so good with caramel :-O but yours looks divine!

Coco Bean said...

Wow, seriously wow. They look fabulous! I'm really glad they finally worked out!

Nina Timm said...

I remember having candy aplles as a child that had so much red food coloring in them that it took my mom almst a week to get the red from our lips and cheeks. This is a much more civilized version. My kids will love it!!!

Sweet and Savory said...

These look yummy and they are pretty. A good combination - good looks and good taste.

Junglefrog said...

They look absolutely beautiful!! I have never made anything (successfully) with caramel yet. There is something about it that doesn't really work with me I think. That photo is just gorgeous too!

Muneeba said...

Thks for the tip! But I love your pic ... those apples almost look fake 'coz they're so beautiful and glossy!

lisa @ dandysugar said...

Your apples look fantastic. They are hard to make but you've created such beauties. Sweet packaging too, what a delicious b-day gift.

Choclette said...

They certainly don't look as though they were a disaster first time around. What a lovely idea. It's one of my foibles that I am usually trying out something new when it comes around to making something for others - spirit of adventure maybe!

CookiePie said...

Oh, they are soooo beautiful! Perfect.

Maria said...

I love these! they are almost too pretty to eat!

RecipeGirl said...

I just made some caramel apples too & you're spot on about what the key is... get that caramel the right temperature before dipping! Placing them in the fridge right away after dip is a perfect idea.

These are gorgeous!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Those are much prettier than mine were! I used all brown sugar in mine and it made a very rich caramel.

Chocolate Shavings said...

Choclette: The first batch didn't get to be photographed.. they were too much of a disaster!

jackie at phamfatale.com said...

Jenn, what a beautiful treat! Great for kids and big kids alike :P

Cheryl said...

Where have you been all my life, LOL! I wish I had read this before my attempt, yours are soo pretty

shaz said...

Such beautifully decorated toffee apples. Ha ha, I'm always thinking "How hard can this be?", then have to eat my disasters. You achieved perfection second time round!

Dana said...

Those are absolutely beautiful apples and they bring up so many memories. I used to eat the caramel off and give the apple back to my mother. :)

zurin said...

what lovely looking candied apples! your pics are awesome too....:)

Trissa said...

I'm really glad you decided to make them again after the first failure - otherwise we would never have the pleasure of seeing such beautiful caramel apples!

Rylan @ artandappetite said...

Holy Tuna! This is AMAZING! They look super good to eat. I think I need to call the mental hospital because I am going crazy for these.

Ingrid said...

Hmmm, thanks for the info. I have every intention to make caramel apples myself. Yours look excellent and like the addition of molasses.
~ingrid

AmyRuth said...

Those are really beautiful. sounds familiar, giving away something never made before. My hubs always marvels at that concept.
AmyRuth

blogresipi said...

Hi!

Very nice caramel apples indeed!

Just would like to know how you upload bigger picture on your blog. Is it by upload to photobucket first? Or you just resize the width and height?

Jill said...

Beautiful pictures and you were so creative with the ribbon decorations!

Chanel11 said...

I love the ribbon you twirled around the stick, nice touch

Amanda said...

Those are just gorgeous!!

Evelyne@Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

That just brings me right back to childhood...yumm

Olive said...

I have never tried making caramel apples but after seeing this, I think I will, and my kids would love these for sure :)

Amelia PS said...

how adorable!

Deborah said...

Those are absolutely gorgeous!!

marzipanmom said...

Your caramel apples are lovely! I've heard that you should also make sure your apples are at room temperature when you dip them so that the caramel doesn't fall off. I made caramel this year with a recipe that included sweetened condensed milk. I didn't care for it...I'll be sure to bookmark this recipe for next year!

Chocolate Shavings said...

marzipanmom: That's exactly right! If the apples are too cold, the caramel will not stick to their skin.

The Cooking Photographer said...

The ribbons on this are adorable! I love the light coming in over the apples. Beautiful.

Jamie said...

These are beautiful, perfect caramel apples, the joy of my childhood. And when it comes to me, even if I make them thirty times perfectly I'll screw up the time I make them to give them away. Luscious!

Susan Salzman said...

These look delicious. I am making these next Fall!

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