Friday, November 03, 2006

candy apples

this fun confection is usually seen around the time of hallowe'en here in north america. i fondly remember our neighbour making tons of them and being excited that i was going to be the recipient of one of these beautiful, shiny red candy apples.

these apples are also called toffee apples in britain, which is what our neighbour used to call them. you will often also see these at fairs and amusement parks lined up, some plain and some elaborately decorated with all sorts of little candies or nuts. it is funny as i have known very few kids to be able to finish a whole one to themselves. once the apple is bitten into, it's usually a done-deal. you can't exactly save it for later, especially since the juices of the apple soon degrade the sugary coating. it is always fun to watch a kid at a fairground trying to make the first bite through the hard coating.

candy apples can be made in two ways. one is with a simple sugar syrup dyed red and the other way with caramel[s].

i usually make these around rosh hashanah when it is traditional to have apples dipped in honey and all things sweet. why not, since i don't really celebrate hallowe'en. whenever i make these however, they are always given away. it's not the kind of thing you are going to eat more than one of yourself.

one thing i have learned in my experiences making these apples is that using a smaller apple is best. often with a large apple it eventually get thrown away only half-eaten. another thing is that the apples must be completely blemish & bruise free as well as being completely dry. any water and it may ruin the whole process. humidity in the kitchen is a big no-no, too. make sure the day you make these that your kitchen is dry.

things to note before starting:

• keep a bowl of ice water near you when you work with molten sugar;
• keep them in a very dry place to store; will keep for about 2 days if necessary;
• decorate immediately;
• use apples that are small and good for eating, i.e. sweet & very crisp;
• obviously best eaten the day they are made; you can wrap these in clear cellophane.

so without further ado, here is the recipe. note that i only make half the recipe so if you want more, you need to double the ingredients.

{please note that for some odd reason when photographing the finished apples, the lighting somehow managed to add what looks like odd triangular gaps on the apples in the first photo. don't worry, the apples were perfect as will be yours!}

red candy apples


4 - 5 small crisp eating apples
sticks, such as popsicle

candy thermometer

1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c white corn syrup
several drops red food dye, or as much as you want
1/2 c water

decorations or chopped nuts, optional


wash apples and dry thoroughly. carefully insert sticks into apples and set aside. clean any apple juices that ooze out from the insertion point with a kleenex before dipping.

either grease a cookie sheet with margarine or butter or place a silpat mat or parchment paper on on a cookie sheet.

place all of the remaining ingredients in a tall sided pot over medium heat with the thermometer attached to the side of the pot. stir the sugar ingredients until dissolved. scrape the sides of the pot so no sugar is on the sides. this is important. once the sugar has melted let this boil until it reaches 300 F. DO NOT STIR or you will seed it and it will be ruined.

with the bowl of ice water beside you in case you need to plunge a hand or finger in, take one of the apples by the stick and plunge it in and swirl to coat the apple all over. make sure it is well coated. let it drip briefly to lose excess sugar. place this on the cookie sheet or plunge into your decorations and then on sheet. repeat with others.

if the sugar starts to get too thick to dip, place it back on the stove on low heat.

as i hate waste [G-d forbid sugar!], you can pour the rest of the syrup on a parchment and let it dry and then break it into pieces to either eat or use in some other way. another idea would be to use little molds to make bright red lollipops.


here are some other links to read more and find some different recipes:


and if you want two more recipes for caramel apples, here you go.


aja said...

Hey BB,
Oh do these bring back childhood memories... Standing gazing longingly at the hot chestnut seller whose cart, along with the little charcoal heater, had a glass box where he kept his popcorn, and lined up in holes were candyapples & twisted lollypops made out of the leftover syrup. In the early 70's the bright red was joined by a bright bright blue which turned purple where it covered the red of the apple's skin.

So did you manage to make your apples unscathed 8^) or were you in need of your emergency iced water? 8^( (I hope the former) ;^]

burekaboy — said...


nice memories & description — should rename these "nostalgic candy apples". i also remember going to the amusement park or country fair in kitchener and staring mesmerized at these goodies. only through a child's eye, i guess.

yep, managed to finish the job without any incident. that's the one downside about working with hot sugar syrups. think i may need novocaine & amalgam or insulin though. forgot how sweet these are and almost cracked a tooth with that always memorable first bite!! LOL. but boy was it gooood! ;p

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice apples! I only have problems finding that golden syrup over here...

By the way, thanks for the link ;-P!

burekaboy — said...


can u get lyle's golden syrup in geneva? it is the british version and it's practically the same thing as the corn syrup.

Rooma said...

Yumm!!!!! can I just pick up one of them???? hahaha.... look absolutely amazing!!!!
Till now I have only seen apples dipped in chocolate.... these look good too!!!

chanit said...

How nice !
אף פעם לא אכלתי תפוחים כאלו, יש לי את כל החומרים חוץ מ
candy thermometer
הבאתי מפריז מד חום לבצק, עד 120 מעלות צלציוס בלבד, ממש אומנות, ותודה על הצילומים היפים.