Halloween is one of my favourite holidays of the year, and I can’t officially celebrate it without a caramel apple. This classic combination of fresh tart apples and sweet caramel is the perfect flavour combination and is quintessential during the fall season.
This year, I have decided to glam up this traditional Halloween recipe and make it fun for adults, with the addition of a sprinkle of fancy sea salt flakes. This adds beautiful texture and flavour to the apples, plus it looks absolutely stunning!
Read on down below to learn how to make these Salted Caramel Apples! 🍎🍏
Which Apple Variety to Choose?
During the fall, there are tons of fresh and seasonal apple varieties to choose from. And really, you can use whichever apple is your favourite in this Salted Caramel Apples recipe!
If you have read my Apple Cider & Honey Pork Chops post, you all know that I absolutely love Honeycrisp apples. They are sweet and tart at the same time and I really love how it compliments the caramel in this recipe.
However, if you can’t find Honeycrisp apples, I would recommend the traditional Granny Smith or MacIntosh apples if you really like tart flavours, or Fuji or Jonagold apples if you have a sweet tooth! Either way, the flaky sea salt will really balance out the flavours!
Three Secrets to Perfect Caramel
There are lots of technical aspects to consider when you are making caramel, and you have to be very precise. One wrong measurement or a few degrees warmer or cooler can spell disaster. You may yield a caramel that is too runny, or caramel that is so hard that it will break your teeth! Here are some of my secrets to getting the perfect caramel for my Salted Caramel Apples:
1. Consider Ratios of Ingredients
I like to have a thicker caramel rather than a runny one so that it can stick onto the sides of the apples. To achieve a thick caramel, I like to use a higher sugar to whipping cream ratio. Sugar will really help the caramel hold it’s shape whereas whipping cream tends to thin it out a bit more.
The addition of corn syrup is a big consideration, and some recipes have it and some recipes don’t. After trying many caramel recipes and refining it to fit my needs, I opted to add it since it gives the caramel a nice soft and chewy texture! All you need is 1/2 a cup and you should be good to go!
2. Be Precise
I am always very precise with measurements using all my measuring cups and spoons, but also with my candy thermometer. To make caramel or any soft or hard candies, a candy thermometer is a must have tool and is a relatively small investment. It will give you a very precise reading and you will know when the caramel is cooked perfectly!
3. Do the Prep Work
After all that hard work in making the caramel, you want it to stick to the apples! Often apples are covered in a layer of wax, and you want to remove that to help the caramel really adhere properly.
I like to either wash the apples throughly in hot water or I like to soak them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before drying with a cloth.
I hope that you enjoy my recipe for Salted Caramel Apples! Let me know in the comments below if you would like to make this recipe for Halloween!
Also, let me know what you are dressing up as this year! I am going to be Rosa from @adamrayokay on TikTok 😛
Salted Caramel Apples
- 2 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 cups granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup white corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Begin by preparing your apples. Wash your apples under hot water to remove any wax. Dry the apples throughly with a towel.
- Pierce the apple with a caramel apple stick or popsicle stick, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Add the whipping cream and salted butter to a small pot and heat until it just begins to simmer. Do not boil. Once it is warm, remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large pot (>4 quarts), add the sugar, corn syrup and water. Use a whisk to gently mix to combine. Once combined, dip a pastry brush in a some water and brush down the sides of the pot so that there are no sugar crystals left on the sides of the pot. Do not stir the caramel until the next stage.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat and insert a candy thermometer into the pot. Make sure that the tip of the thermometer is submerged in the sugar mixture or else you won't get a proper temperature reading. Let the sugar mixture come to a boil (without stirring). You will begin to see the mixture bubble after a few minutes and the mixture will turn from a clear colour to a toasty golden brown colour.
- Once the sugar mixtures reaches 325 degrees F, remove the pot from the heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the warm cream and butter mixture into the sugar mixture. The caramel will bubble up quite a bit (which is why it's important to use a big pot) but don't be afraid of it. Add the remaining warm cream mixture in 1/4 cup increments. Once all the cream mixture has been added, gently whisk the mixture to combine.
- Next, return the pot to the medium-high heat and let the caramel come to a boil. Do not stir the caramel anymore. You will see the caramel turn from a light brown to a dark red-brown. Bring the entire mixture to 245 degrees F (no higher) and remove from the heat. Next, add in the vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
- Let the caramel cool for 5-7 minutes to firm up a bit. Then dip your apple into the caramel and rotate it in a circle to coast the sides. Once coated, place the caramel apple back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, garnish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Enjoy!