For a lot of years I was scared of anything involving a candy thermometer. It just all seemed so hard and complicated, not to mention dangerous (If you didn’t know, I tend to be a bit accident prone in the kitchen. And in life in general.) But then I tried it and discovered it wasn’t scary at all. In fact it’s the opposite (the opposite of scary being not scary. Just FYI.) Candy thermometers are super cheap and you can even usually find them at the grocery store. Or, if you’d rather get one in your pajamas, you can try a classic style or instant-read. Grab one on your next trip so you can make these apples!
I’ve made honey caramel before–it’s so easy, just a few ingredients. But I never thought to make a caramel apple with it until I saw a contributor at Everyday Magazine do it in a recent issue. I love honey, and honey caramel has a distinct honey flavor. It’s a slightly different taste combo than your normal caramel, so it’s fun to switch things up!
When say it involves just a few ingredients I’m not exaggerating. Really, only TWO main ingredients!
That’s right, honey and cream. Yum already, right? Other than that you just need a pinch of salt and a little vanilla.
Do you all remember our tip about measuring sticky stuff? Spray your measuring cup with non-stick spray first.
Then dump in the honey
and watch it magically slide right out without sticking to the sides of the measuring cup. (Please, hold your applause!)
Toss a hefty pinch of salt in there too and then bring it to a boil. That’s it! Just keep it simmering until it turns into a luscious golden caramel and then add a little vanilla.
Now it’s ready for dipping. Twirl some chilled apples in there. Red, green, as long as they’re crisp and cold they’ll be great! This would also be great to just dip cold, sliced apples in for snacking.
Chill in the fridge to set the caramel. At this point you could leave these honey caramel apples as is like I have. I think the unique flavor of the honey makes them interesting enough on their own, or you could drizzle in chocolate, roll in nuts or cookie crumbs, etc. See this post here for a great how-to.
This sweeter-than-honey caramel is a snap to make, and perfect for apple dipping!
- 4 large (or 6 small) crisp apples, chilled in the fridge for at least 1 hour
- 1 Cup honey
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- 1 pinch salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, combine cream, honey, and salt. Once warmed and whisked together, bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer (it should still be bubbling, but not so hot that is splatters all over). Stir and scrape sides of pot down occasionally until a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees.
- To reach 260 degrees can take about 30 minutes, so while your caramel is cooking prepare your apples. Wash and dry them and skewer them with a popsicle stick or bamboo skewer. Place in the fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Also line a baking sheet or cutting board with waxed paper or parchment paper and set aside.
- When caramel has reached 260 degrees, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start thickening. You’ll have to eyeball the consistency for dipping. If you’d like to help it along you can place your pot in a bowl of ice. And if it gets too hard to coat the apples, just return it to the heat until it’s thin again.
- Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with a towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one so it gets well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared sheet. Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes to set the caramel and then enjoy!
- Great tip: Once caramel is set, you can drizzle with chocolate, roll in cookie crumbs, etc. Search for “Gourmet-Style Caramel Apples” on our site for tons of great ideas!