Candied apples are a fall treat that conjures up memories of Halloween for many people. The first step in making candied apples is to choose the right apples. For the best results, look for apples that are crisp and firm. Once you have found the perfect apples, wash them thoroughly and remove the stems. Next, insert a popsicle stick into the top of each apple. Then, it's time to make the candy coating. The coating is made by boiling sugar and water together until it reaches the hard crack stage. To test if the mixture has reached this stage, drop a small amount into a cup of cold water. If it forms hard, brittle threads, it is ready. If not, continue to boil the mixture and test again. Once the candy coating is ready, dip each apple into the mixture and set them on a sheet of wax paper to cool. As they cool, the candy coating will harden, creating a delicious fall treat.
When fall arrives, one of my favorite things to eat are candied apples. There's something about the sweet and tart flavor that just screams autumn to me. Plus, they're so pretty to look at! I love eating them at orchard visits, but they're also easy to make at home. Here's how you can make your own candied apples.
12 small red or green apples (any variety)
12 lollipop or popsicle sticks
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon food coloring (red is typical but purple can be for Halloween)
Equipment: candy thermometer
Wash and thoroughly dry the apples. Insert the lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks so that they are firmly positioned in the apples. Set the apples aside on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper coated with cooking spray.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and cook the mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 300ºF (the hard crack stage).
Remove the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the red food coloring. (It may splash, so stand back. And you may have to add more than the designated ½ teaspoon, depending on the quality and strength of your food coloring.)
One by one, carefully dip the apples into the candy mixture, swirling to coat them thoroughly and allowing any excess to drip back into the pan. Transfer the coated apples to the prepared cookie sheet and allow them to cool until the candy has fully hardened.