I’m not normally the sort of person who thinks an apple needs much adornment. Give me something crisp, cool, and tart and I’ll happily snack on it while walking through the city. But every once in a while, I do love an apple dipped in buttery caramel. And this caramel is the best. It’s thick and luscious, it’ll coat the apple without pulling out your teeth, and it’s easy to make.
But if you’re scarred from years of making caramel apples only to watch the caramel slip off once you’ve dipped, here’s a word of warning: BEWARE THE WAX. Apples purchased at major grocery stores (whether you’re buying conventional or organic) will be coated in a thin layer of wax. And that wax will prevent your caramel from sticking. Solution? Bring a pot of water to boil, toss in a few tablespoons of white vinegar, and dip your cold apples for 5 seconds. The wax will be melted away, and your apple won’t be cooked. Let the apples dry completely before bathing them in caramel, I promise it’ll be worth the effort!
And speaking of that caramel-dipping: keep your apples in the fridge until the very moment you’d like to dip. A cold apple will help the caramel seize instantaneously, making it stick to the side and build up a nice thick layer.
Yield: 8-12 small apples
8-12 small granny smith apples, skewered with popsicle sticks, and kept in the fridge
½ cup water
1 ⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
Candy toppings: m&ms, crushed cookies, sprinkles, etc.
Combine water, sugar, and salt in heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently with fork until sugar is dissolved. Bring to rolling boil, about 3-5 minutes.
Simmer caramel until honey-gold color is achieved, 8-10 minutes.
Immediately add cream, then reduce heat to medium-low.
Stir with silicone spatula until caramel reaches 250˚, 6-8 minutes.
Pour hot caramel into heat-safe bowl, allow to cool down to 212˚.
Dip cold apples (straight from fridge) in caramel. Let excess caramel drip off into bowl before transferring to parchment lined sheet tray. If caramel gets too thick while dipping, briefly heat it over simmering water.
Sprinkle or roll apples with/in candy toppings or cookies.
Allow apples to set at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.