Caramel apples are just one of those classic Fall foods that I honestly can't get enough of. We always sell them during September and October during our apple festivals on the farm, so I'm spoiled with a steady supply of them. A farm down the road makes them for us, using our own apples, and they are so wonderful. Due to this, I had never actually made my own caramel apples from scratch!
I can now cross that off my bucket list though, because these beauts were completely homemade. Not even halfway homemade with store-bought caramels. No way. Although the ingredient list might make your teeth hurt by just looking at it.....hehe. I will tell you that these are hands down the best caramel apples I've eaten! The only thing that is keeping me from making them every day is because they take quite a bit of patience for your caramel to reach the right temperature. And if you know me....you'll know that patience is one of my strong suits. Ha!
This caramel has a beautiful colour, and is so creamy and rich. It went so well with the tart Elstar apples that it covered, and made many mouths quite happy. The extra caramel was used for dipping apples in over the next couple of days....and we also made some homemade turtles with it. Delish.
recipe from:Sprinkle Bakes
12 small/medium tart apples (I used Elstar apples)
popsicle sticks (I used cake pop sticks, which got a bit soggy and then weren't quite strong enough!)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
*you will need a candy thermometer for this recipe!
1) First, place a large sheet of parchment or wax paper on a work surface that will be able to hold all of your apples without them touching each other. Set aside.
2) Clean and dry your apples (the caramel won't stick if they're wet at all!). Remove the apple stems, and punch a guide hole for your stick using a metal skewer or skinny knife. Insert stick into each apple, and make sure it's secure.
3) For the caramel: in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. Set aside.
4) In a large pot, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, and white sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat. When the mixture boils, add the butter. Stir until the butter is melted, and reduce the heat to medium-high.
5) Add milk mixture in a small steady stream, whisking continually. You want the caramel to keep boiling slightly.
6) Reduce heat to medium, and attach a candy thermometer to your pot. Be careful that the candy thermometer does not touch the bottom of your pot, as it will give you a false temperature reading.
7) Bring to 250 degrees F. This will take approximately 15 minutes or so. So be patient!
8) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
9) Wait until the bubbling stops, and the caramel has a smooth glassy surface. Tilt pan slightly so that caramel is deeper on one side, and start dipping apples. Cover apples completely in caramel, and twirl and gently tap the stick on the side of the pot to help excess caramel drip off. Place on parchment to set for about an hour. Serve and enjoy!
[Optional]: Immediately after dipping, roll your apple in chopped nuts, chocolate, skor bits, coconut, etc.
Keep extras in the fridge until you're ready to eat them!
You may have noticed the mini caramel apples in a few of these pictures. We used a melon baller to carve out some mini apple balls for dipping. While this idea was great in theory, they ended up being a bit too wet, and the caramel slid off most of them. Sad day.
My favorite combo of flavors was definitely the pretzel covered apples. Sweet and salty will always get me. The extra crunch from the pretzels was also a lovely addition!
So, be creative and make these yummy treats!