These homemade caramel apples look so impressive, but are quite easy to make. Dip your apples in melted chocolate and roll them in toppings such as nuts and candy for gourmet apples that make the perfect dessert or gift.
You can never go wrong with apples and caramel, whether it’s apple nachos, caramel apple dip or these classic caramel coated apples.
My daughter, Cait and her little herd of four visited us a few weekends ago. The day they arrived we spent a beautiful fall afternoon at one of the nearby mountain apple orchards, picking apples, wandering through a corn maze and enjoying warm cider donuts. The orchard stand also sold caramel apples but I had told my oldest granddaughter, Annie, that we would make our own caramel apples while they were visiting.
Annie was quick to remind me of my promise the following day, and that afternoon, we all gathered in the kitchen to make caramel apples. How wonderful to have so many helpers! 6-year-old, Luke was responsible for measuring the ingredients, Annie (12) faithfully stirred the pot, Elle (11) took care of monitoring the temperature and Lilly (8) made the whole thing fun!
The caramel apples were a huge success and didn’t last long with that sweet-toothed crew! I’ve made them many times since and have tweaked the recipe (originally from Serious Eats), here and there to make it fail-proof and perfect for you!
- 8 to 12 small apples, refrigerated until cold
- 4 ounces water (1/2 cup; 115g)
- 9 ounces sugar (1 1/3 cups; 255g)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 9 ounces heavy cream (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons; 255g), chilled (see note)
- Skewer apples with popsicle sticks, then return to fridge. In a 3-quart stainless steel saucier, combine water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Stir with a fork until sugar is fully dissolved and syrup comes to a rolling boil, about 4 minutes. Simmer, without stirring, until syrup is honey-gold, roughly 9 minutes.
- Immediately add cream (the mixture will sputter) and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, until caramel registers 250°F (121°C) on a digital thermometer, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a small heat-resistant bowl and cool to about 212°F (100°C).
- Dip cold apples in caramel, letting excess drip off before transferring to a parchment-lined cutting board. Let stand at room temperature until fully set, about 10 minutes, and serve.