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Tips For Perfect Caramel Apples

Apple season is a good time to stock up on the natural snack with benefits, which includes being vitamin rich and containing natural sources of dietary fiber.

Apples keep well, can be used in endless recipes and having an abundance of them on hand is a good excuse to indulge in a fall tradition – making caramel apples.

While recipes differ, some simple tips will make all the difference in producing delicious, gourmet candy and caramel apples at home.

Use fresh, crisp apples that are pre-washed and thoroughly dried. They should also be well chilled before dipping so ingredients will adhere better. One suggestion is to rough up the outer skin of the apple before dipping, but not enough to pierce the skin, as you do not want to create any moisture or toppings will just slide right off. This can be done with an extremely fine microplane or textured towel. This step helps to remove any waxy residue coating the apple, and makes a huge difference in sticking quality.

Some suggest using caramel melts instead of unwrapping tons of candy caramels for convenience, but if you want to control the ingredients and don’t mind stirring try a homemade caramel recipe. Caramel sauce can be made without fructose corn syrup, which is a popular additive in store purchased caramel apples. Making your own caramel can be done with simple foods like cream, sea salt, maple syrup, molasses or honey.

Tips For Perfect Caramel Apples

Image source: 101cookbooks.com

When combining ingredients and melting it is important not to cook at too high of a temperature or it will actually become too runny. However, not heating caramel enough will keep it from setting up. Depending on the recipe, a candy thermometer reading about 255-260° can be used as a guide.

Also, once caramel has completely cooked, carefully place it in a bowl set down in a cool water bath to help it thicken and cool. Do not get any water droplets in the caramel or it may ruin the batch.

After coating in caramel, trim off any excess by scraping the bottom of the apple for a smooth surface that will stand up. Then re-melt any unused caramel for another coat.

When coating the apples, don’t rush it if you want layers of ingredients that will stick. Chilling well between coatings is recommended for the best staying power.

To really seal in the caramel, after a coat or two is completed and well chilled, dip the caramel apple in just slightly melted chocolate. The chocolate will adhere to the cool caramel surface and help toppings stick.

Tips For Perfect Caramel Apples

Image source: shewearsmanyhats.com/2012/09/chocolate-caramel-apples

Unsharpened wooden skewers, wooden chopsticks, lollipop or popsicle sticks can be used for handles. A recommendation for a natural presentation is to use twigs as the sticks.

Tips For Perfect Caramel Apples

Image source: indulgy.com via Allyson Baker Design

If the apples won’t be eaten right away, leave off the stick and dip by the apple’s stem instead of piercing it, and they will remain fresher longer. Also, place dipped apples in cupcake liners for portability and storage, and so that the trimmings will not fall off and go everywhere.

For sprinkling or drizzling ingredients, place apples on top of waxed paper or in a glass baking dish for easier clean up.

Experiment with various toppings like toasted coconut, seasoned pumpkin seeds, pistachios, sunflowers, cereal, granola, spices, dried fruits or candies. For thickly coated apples, don’t be afraid to get hands messy and actually push toppings into the side of the apple to get them to stick into the caramel.

Tips For Perfect Caramel Apples

Image source: deliciouslyorganic.net

Though it is tempting to use large apples, smaller ones can be easier to manage and toppings will set up faster if time is an issue. Larger apples require longer cooling periods, but having a giant, dipped, gooey treat is worth the payoff.

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