When I was a kid, bright red candy apples were the only way I wanted my apple candy treats. Some folks liked caramel apples but to me the shiny Candy Apples, with the sweet sugar glaze that shattered between my teeth, were a thing of beauty. And a rarity! Seems like the fall was the only time we would find them and making them at home wasn’t even considered. Well, after reading this recipe I think you will agree that taking a crack at them in your home kitchen isn’t a bad idea! Not too difficult either, if you carefully follow blogger Sally McKenney’s advice. A good candy thermometer will help you have success. Also check out her Overloaded Cinnamon Spice Brittle, both from her book Sally’s Candy Addiction.
Excerpted with permission. Sally’s Candy Addictionby Sally McKenney. Published by Quarto Publishing, 2015. © 2015 text and photos by Sally McKenney
Does it get any more classic than ruby-red candy apples? Along with Caramel Apples, these are a favorite fall treat, and they remind me so much of all the food and fun at fairs and carnivals. The cooler fall months are the perfect time to make them, since heat and humidity can prevent the crunchy candy shell from setting properly. Candy apples are easy to make, but there are a couple of things you need to know before you start, so be sure and read the tips at the bottom of the page.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 8 lollipop or ice pop sticks
- large baking sheet
- 3-qt (2.8L) heavy-duty saucepan
- candy thermometer
- pastry brush
- 8 apples, at room temperature
- 2½ cups (500g) sugar
- ½ cup (120ml) light corn syrup
- ½ cup (120ml) water
- 1 tsp (5ml) liquid red food coloring
- Wash and thoroughly dry the apples to get rid of any wax coating. Remove stems. With light force, insert a lollipop or ice pop stick halfway into the core of each apple from the top. Make sure it is very secure. Set apples aside.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Place the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3-qt (2.8L) heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan. Remember not to let it touch the bottom of the pan. As the mixture begins cooking, brush down the sides of the pan with a water-moistened pastry brush.
- Once boiling, quickly stir in the red food coloring. There is no more stirring beyond this point. Cook the candy until it reaches 290°F (143°C; soft crack stage). Turn the stove off and immediately remove the pan from heat.
- Using the stick to hold the apple, and working with one apple at a time, immediately begin dipping the apples almost all the way into the candy coating, leaving only a small area around the stick exposed (this little bare part is the best place to take your first bite). Place dipped apples on the prepared baking sheet with the stick pointing up. Allow candy coating to set for about 30 minutes before serving.
- MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Wrap the candy apples individually in cellophane or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Candy Apple Tips
- Not all apples are suitable for this particular treat. Smaller apples are best because they are easier to work with. You also want firm apples that will hold up to the hot candy coating. In terms of taste, I prefer Fuji, Granny Smith, and Gala varieties.
- Make sure the apples are completely dry and at room temperature before you dip them; otherwise, bubbles will form in the hot candy coating as it sets—not pretty. I call apples with this problem “gremlin apples.”
- Work quickly. The candy coating cools extremely fast. If it becomes too thick as you are dipping, simply reheat on the stove over medium heat for 2–3 minutes.