Okay, so I’ve had a few people ask for my caramel apple recipe. I will say that I started with Robert Irvine’s recipe and tweaked it to what I like, so I’m not the mastermind behind these, but I do think its a delicious caramel apple! So, enjoy!
- 1 pound brown sugar*
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup “pancake” syrup (maple flavored)
- 2 teaspoons mild molasses*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12-14 granny smith apples, depending on size, room temperature
- wooden sticks
First, fill your sink with hot tap water and a few squirts of dish soap. Put all your apples in the water and one by one wash the apples off with a clean scrubby. I use a stainless steel scrubby from the dollar store, but any scrubber will work. This is to remove the wax that the store puts on the apples to make them look nice. If you leave it on, the caramel will not stick to the apple. Rinse with water and dry with a paper towel. Place apple stem side down on a tray and stick a wooden skewer into each apple (yes, upside down). Place in the fridge while making your caramel.
Combine all the remaining ingredients together in a large saucepan, and stir with a wooden spoon over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved and is not gritty.
Clip a candy thermometer on to the side of the pan and bring the sugar mixture to a rolling boil over medium heat, and cook until the thermometer reads 236 degrees F. Pour into a stainless steel bowl and allow it to cool to 200 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Dip each apple into the 200 degrees F caramel, watching carefully, so as not to dip your fingers into the caramel. Remove the excess caramel by shaking the apples in a downward movement over the caramel bowl, scrape the bottom of the apples off on the bowl and then transfer to the cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining apples. Trust me when I say that the bottom of the apples should not have caramel on them. You’ll fix this later!
Once all the apples are done, place the tray back in the fridge until the caramel is set up. I prefer overnight, but even just an hour or two would be good enough. Take the caramel that has pooled at the bottom of the apple and gently push it under the apple where you scraped off the caramel before. Push it back down on the mat/parchment to smooth it out.
At this point, you can be done OR you can dip them in chocolate and toppings. (My favorite is white chocolate with cinnamon sugar!) Add a little oil to your chocolate to thin it out so that it goes on well. Do the same shaking and scraping process as you did with the caramel and let them set up before bagging them or eating them. If the apples are cold it should set up pretty quickly.
Caramel apples do not need to be stored in the fridge, but I like to use the fridge to set up the caramel and chocolate.
*Different brown sugars will result in different flavors of caramel. Dark brown sugar makes a very rich, deep flavor of caramel. Light brown sugar is obviously a much lighter flavor. My favorite is probably golden brown sugar, and then I add an extra tsp. of molasses. You can also use dark molasses if you want an even deeper flavor of caramel.
You can also use real maple syrup rather than “pancake syrup.” I don’t want maple overtones so I prefer to use the pancake syrup that just has some maple flavoring in it. Also, caramel apples are already very expensive to make, I don’t want to add to my cost!
Well, that’s it. I hope that wasn’t too crazy. It is easier to demonstrate it than to type it out, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I’m definitely not an expert, but I have made them quite a few times, and this is by far my favorite recipe. Good luck!