Candy Apples: the effortless recipe for making sugar-coated apples

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Candy apples are a delicious, impressive sweet treat perfect to enjoy in fall, just like other seasonal desserts. Super easy to make, it's a great recipe to enjoy at fairs or a Halloween party.

Apples are simply candied when you dip them into the red sugar mixture. This means the apples are tender on the inside and coated with a crisp, sticky candy shell on the outside once you let them set.

This recipe calls for few simple ingredients such as apples, sugar, water, syrup and red food coloring. Anyway, it's important to use a candy thermometer to record the precise temperature that the sugar reaches while it is on the fire in order to make a perfect candied coating.

To best coat the apples, insert a wooden stick over the top of the apples until you reach halfway up the fruit. This is not only a practical way to prepare this recipe, but also a fun, kid-friendly way to hold and eat candy apples.

What is a Candy Apple?

A candy apple is basically a whole apple coated with a thin, red sugar coating that was set until hard and crispy. What's special about this typically fall recipe is that the sticky sugar shell is red thanks to a few drops of colored food coloring.

They have a very sweet taste, although in the 1980s people used to add cinnamon instead of food coloring. Finally, insert a wooden stick in the center of the apples. It's a secret to making this recipe and eating candy apples without making a mess.

Candy Apples vs Caramel Apples

Do not confuse candy apples with caramel apples. Although they are similar, the coating is made from different ingredients. Candy apples call for sugar, syrup and water. On the other hand, caramel apples are dipped in a mixture of brown sugar, heavy cream, butter and corn syrup.

What are the best Apples for Candy Apples?

When you make candy apples it's important to use a kind of apples that withstand high temperatures so that they do not fall apart when you dip them into the boiling sugar-coating mixture. It doesn't matter if you use green or red apples – it's up to you! The most suitable ones are usually the Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, Jazz, and Jonagold apples.

Tips for making Easy Candy Apples

If you want a crispy and not chewy sugar-coating shell, make sure to let your candy apples set properly.

You can decorate these sweet treats as you want. You can also add orange food coloring to the sugar-coating mixture for making Halloween candy apples.

How to store Candy Apples

You can store candy apples in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Although they are sugar-coated apples, they do not actually last long because the hole made by the wooden stick impacts the internal ripening of the apples.

More Apple Desserts You'll Like

Red apples
500 g (2 1/2 cups)
60 ml (1/4 cup)
Glucose syrup or corn syrup
200 g (1/2 cup)
Red food coloring

How to make Candy Apples

Wash the apples and dry them well with the cloth. Make sure they're dry otherwise the coating won't stick to the apples.

Remove the apple stem, then prick each apple from the top with the skewer stick.

In a pot over medium heat, add the sugar, water, and syrup.

Let the mixture boil until the temperature reaches the 100°C-125°C (use a thermometer), without stirring it. If there are bubbles in the sugar, wait a little bit more otherwise they will also be on your apple coating shell. Next, add the red food color and mix just a little bit. Once the syrup reaches the 145°C-150°C remove the pot from the heat.

Holding the wooden stick, dip each apple in the syrup.  Swirl the hand in order to cover all fruit sides. You can also tilt the pot gently by moving its handle with the other hand. This allows the apples to be fully submerged. Once finished, make sure to drain the excess sugar coating back into the pan.

Transfer the apples to the baking tray covered with parchment paper and let them harden until crispy.

Serve and enjoy your candy apples!

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