Fall is my favorite season here in New England. The crisp, cool air, the changing leaves, and knowing that the holidays are just around the corner makes me one happy girl. Last weekend, the Love Of My Life (LOML) and I went apple picking at a wonderful orchard in Amesbury, MA. Though it was toward the end of apple picking season and many of the trees were bare, we still managed to harvest a whopping 14 pounds of apples! Now, what to do with all of that fruit ... apple pie? Apple crisp? Eat them plain? Hmmmm....
We decided to try our hand at making caramel apples! Though time-consuming, none of the steps are particularly difficult. Make the caramel, melt the chocolate, dip the apples, pour on the toppings, and enjoy! This was the first time I made caramel using honey instead of sugar, and I was really happy with the results. Thick, buttery, and really delicious, without using refined sugar or corn syrup.
- Lollipop or popsicle sticks
- Baking sheet, lined with waxed paper or silpat
- Candy thermometer
- Heavy Cream
- Chocolate for dipping: I like to use Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom Chocolate Melts (no tempering required, and the chocolate tastes great!). We used the dark chocolate candy melts for our apples, which paired nicely with the sweet, buttery caramel
- Toppings: We dipped our apples into chopped peanuts, chopped Heathbar, and M&Ms. You can use whatever nuts or other candy you like!
- Prepare apples. If waxed, scrub gently to remove all wax (if you do not, your caramel will not stick to the apples and you will end up with a mess). Remove stems, and push a lollipop or popsicle stick deep into the core of the apple.
- Prepare toppings, and place in bowls that are large enough to fit the entire apple.
- Make caramel for dipping (see recipe below).
- Dip prepared apples into caramel. I like to tilt the saucepan and allow the caramel to pool, and then dip and twirl apple gently until coated. Set on waxed paper or silpat lined cookie sheet to set.
- Once caramel has set on apples, melt your chocolate according to package directions. Dip the caramel-enrobed apples into the chocolate. Let excess drip off, and allow to set for a moment before rolling in toppings.
- Roll apple in toppings as desired.
- Let set completely, then package to give as gifts or enjoy!
Makes enough to cover 6-8 small apples
Source: 101 Cookbooks
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup honey
Special equipment: candy thermometer
- Fill a bowl with cold water - bowl should be large enough to set your saucepan into.
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the cream and salt over medium-high heat until bubbles begin forming around the edges.
- Stir in honey, and bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture reaches 255-260F (this took closer to 30 minutes for me). Caramel will darken and thicken as it gets hotter.
- Carefully place the saucepan into the bowl prepared with cold water to stop it from cooking.
- Stir caramel and allow to cool until thick enough to coat apples. You want the mixture to be thin enough so that it easily covers the apples, but no so thin that it will run right off. If the caramel thickens too much, place back on burner for a short period of time to heat it up a little bit.