Classic Caramel Apples recipe.
Classic Caramel Apples
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Chilling time
1 hr
Total Time
30 mins
 
Whenever I see caramel apples it brings me back to watching Mom make these delicious treats for all the trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Caramel apples are one of my favorite fall treats. Sweet and soft caramel, coating tart and crisp apples bring out the best flavors in both foods. A perfect marriage. For this recipe, you can either make your own caramel or use store-bought soft caramel candies to melt then dip your apples in. Buy the best quality caramel candies you can buy and make sure it is real caramel and not just corn syrup and flavorings. If you have never made caramel before, making caramel apples with store-bought soft caramel candies is more reliable. Making caramel is temperamental because in a flash your caramel can go from perfect to burnt, or the butter separates from the caramel if it has experienced some form of temperature shock. The homemade caramel sauce is from the caramel apple recipe in Tartine, by Elizabeth Prueitt. The homemade caramel sauce is from the caramel apple recipe in Tartine, by Elizabeth Prueitt. I adapted the recipe for caramel made with soft caramel candies and included some of the same flavors from Elizabeth Prueitt’s recipe. Use tart apples, like Granny Smith to complement the sweet caramel sauce. For your handle, use popsicle sticks, lollipop sticks or fresh tree twigs. If you use tree twigs, make sure to use ones that are cut off from the tree and not found on the ground. Wash and dry the twigs then make a point at one end for ease of poking them into the apples. Caution: Working with caramel is extremely hot. As a precaution keep a bowl filled with ice water at close range in the event you burn yourself from the steam or caramel.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apples, Caramel apples
Author: Ginger
Ingredients
Caramel Apples
  • 8-10 medium tart apples like Granny Smith
  • 8-10 handles like lollipop sticks popsicle sticks or clean tree sticks
  • 1 recipe of caramel sauce
  • 8 oz (200 g) pistahios, or other nuts like walnuts or pecans, chopped fine (optional)
Caramel Sauce from Tartine
  • 1 cup (225 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (133 g) unsalted butter (one stick)
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (60 ml or 85 g) light corn syrup
  • 2 TB (30 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 TB (15 ml) Blackstrap or dark molasses
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) real vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
Caramel Sauce Using Store-bought soft Caramel Candies
  • 1 lb. (500 g) 500 g soft real caramel candies
  • 3 TB (45 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 TB (15 ml) real maple syrup
  • 1 TB (15 ml) dark molasses
Instructions
Prepare your apples
  1. Wash and dry the apples. Remove the wax from the apples before you start. See the Caramel Apple blog post for wax removal instructions.

  2. Secure the handle into the apples. Pierce one stick into the stem end of each apple. Do not push the stick all the way through the apple because the juices will leak and weaken the caramel. 

  3. Place the prepared apples on a tray and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. If using parchment paper, lightly spray it with cooking oil. Set aside.
Make the caramel sauce
Tartine caramel sauce
  1. Add all the ingredients into a heavy-duty saucepan with a minimum of a 3-quart capacity. Place the pot over medium-high heat. Occasionally stir the ingredients to prevent the sugar from burning on the bottom of the pan. Bring the caramel to a boil and cook the caramel until it reaches 236°F (113°C), about 7 minutes.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and rest the caramel until it cools down to 180°F (82°C).

    Continue to Make the Caramel Apples.

Caramel Sauce Made from Soft Caramel Candies
  1. Add water to the bottom portion of a double boiler filling the saucepan until it reaches shy of 2-inches up the side of the pot. Place the top portion of the double boiler on top then add all the ingredients to the pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and melt the caramel. Occasionally stir the ingredients to incorporate the ingredients and promote even melting. Once the caramel is melted, turn down the heat to low and begin making the caramel apples. 

Make the Caramel Apples
  1. Remove the chilled apples from the refrigerator and bring near your saucepan with the caramel sauce. Position the prepared rimmed sheet pan at the opposite side of the caramel sauce.

  2. One at a time, dip an apple into the caramel, turning it over to get an even coating of caramel. Lift the apple out of the caramel and let the caramel drip back into the pot. Turn the apple around to encourage the caramel to evenly drip off and not collect over one spot. Turn the apple right side up and hold it upright for 30 seconds.

  3. If you are dipping your apple into chopped nuts or candies, turn the apple upside down and dip the apple into the bowl filled with nuts or candy.
  4. Place the finished apple on the prepared sheet pan. Once you are done with all the apples. Place the sheet pan in the refrigerator and chill the apples until the caramel firms up.
  5. Once set, serve immediately. Store the caramel apples uncovered in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

Recipe Notes

After you dipped all your apples and notice caramel pooling at the base of the apples, you can press the caramel back into place with your fingers.

Many different types of nuts and candies taste great with caramel apples. Sprinkles, Heath Bar Crunch, Chocolate Chips, and or any nut will easily stick to the caramel if chopped in small size pieces.