Are you excited to make some caramel apples this upcoming season, but you’re worried you’re going to mess them up somehow? We’ve all been there. Caramel apples can be difficult to perfect, and they can create a lot of sticky mess.
Below, we have listed 10 tips to help you create the perfect caramel apples.
1. Boil The Apples Beforehand
This may seem like a strange thing to suggest, but hear us out. Have you ever noticed that, when you buy apples from the store, their skin is all shiny and waxy? The apple naturally produces this waxy layer to preserve its skin.
The waxy covering occasionally has a cloudy appearance, but if you carefully rub it, you may make it shine. Over fifty distinct elements from at least six different chemical groups make the naturally occurring wax on apples.
While this waxy layer won’t harm you, it will make it more difficult for the melted caramel to stick to the apple when you attempt to make caramel apples.
By boiling the apples, you can remove the wax, which will make it a lot easier to cover the apple with caramel later on.
2. Store Apples At Room Temperature
Maintaining the apples at room temperature seems to be another thing you may want to do as you get ready to prepare your caramel apples. When you have melted the wax off of their skin, it is very critical that you complete this step.
In fact, it might be preferable to chill the apples in the refrigerator for a short while, so that they are absolutely cool before you coat them with caramel.
The melted caramel will adhere to the apple’s skin much more easily if the apples are allowed to cool to a lower temperature. The skin will tighten at the colder temperature, however if you maintain it in a warmer temperature, it may get a little loose and slippery.
3. Make Your Own Homemade Caramel
While it is a lot easier to melt down some caramel candies to coat your apples, you may want to think about creating your very own homemade caramel to use instead.
Making homemade caramel is actually pretty simple, and there are plenty of recipes that can help you online. Most of them use the same ingredients and follow the same steps.
Make sure you’ve got some brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and heavy cream at home. If you’ve got all of these ingredients, you will be able to make your very own homemade caramel!
4. Use Parchment Paper (Not Wax!)
Preparing ahead of time is so important, as this will save you issues in the future. For example, have you thought about where you’re going to place the apples after you’ve dipped them in the caramel?
To avoid getting scalding hot melted sugar all over the place, you’re going to want to set up an empty tray on which you can place all the apples once they have been dipped.
You will also want to place some parchment paper down so that you can easily peel the apples off (and to create less of a mess!)
It is very important that you use parchment paper, not wax paper. If you place scalding hot caramel apples on top of the latter, the wax will slowly melt onto the apples as they cool down. Trust us, and stick with parchment paper.
5. Place Tray In Freezer Before Use
On the topic of using a tray, another great tip to keep in mind is to place the parchment paper covered tray in the freezer until you are just about ready to start dipping the apples into the caramel.
The reason for this is, as we mentioned earlier, the caramel apples are going to be so hot when they have first been dipped. By keeping the tray in the freezer beforehand, it will be completely chilled.
When you place the caramel apples on the tray, they will begin to cool down almost immediately from the bottom up. This is an extremely helpful tip that will ensure your apples cool down a lot faster, saving some time overall.
6. Stick The Popsicle Sticks In The Bottom Of The Apple
This next step may be an obvious decision to make to some people, but it may not have occurred to others over the years. This simple tip is going to change your life if you are not already aware.
If you are jabbing your popsicle sticks into the top of your apples, aside the stem, you are doing it wrong. The best way to do it is to stick the popsicle sticks through the bottom of the apple.
It is a lot easier to do it this way, as the bottom surface will be flatter and easier to jab. Also, the final result will look so much more professional if you place the popsicle stick at the bottom of the apple!
7. Use A Suitable Saucepan
No matter whether you are creating your very own homemade caramel from scratch, or you are going to melt down a couple of premade candies to create the sauce, you are going to need a good quality saucepan.
We’re not saying that you need to go out and purchase a brand new saucepan just for this occasion, but we do recommend that you use a decent saucepan for when you make some caramel apples.
If you use an old, worn down saucepan, you may risk the melting caramel sticking to the pan itself, and eventually burning. This will not only create a sticky, burnt mess, but it will also waste a lot of your resources.
8. Use A Whisk To Stir The Caramel
Relating back to our previous point, it is so important to keep a close eye on your caramel as it melts in the pan. If you leave it cooking for too long without stirring it, you risk burning the entire thing. It will look bad, taste bad, and won’t be useable!
The key to stopping the caramel from burning from the bottom is to continuously whisk as it boils. If you keep stirring the mixture, it will be unable to burn, as it will be constantly moving around the pan.
We recommend using a whisk to stir the caramel, as this will not only get rid of any lumps, but it will also keep the mixture moving in a uniform manner, making it less likely to burn.
9. Wait For The Caramel To Cool
Once you have successfully melted the caramel, you will want to wait for it to almost completely cool down before dipping the apples in.
If you try coating the apples before the caramel has cooled down, the sticky liquid will simply drip straight off the apple skin. If you allow it to cool down first, it will be much easier to get it to stick to the apple.
10. Set The Apples In The Refrigerator
Finally, once you have successfully coated your apples with caramel, it is time to let them cool down.
The quickest way to do this is by placing them in the freezer, but we recommend placing them in the refrigerator, as this will help the apples to cool down gradually over time.
Don’t forget to add any additional toppings, e.g. sprinkles and nuts, to the apples before you let them cool in the fridge.
If you follow our 10 tips above, you will certainly create the tastiest, prettiest batch of candy apples that the world has ever seen! Don’t forget to grab all the ingredients ahead of time, and keep plenty of cleaning supplies on hand to clean up afterwards.
Good luck, and happy cooking!
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