Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Candy Apples

When we think of candy apples, we usually think of Halloween or state fairs, but did you ever wonder how or where they originated?

According to the Newark Sunday News....
William W. Kolb invented the red candy apple. Kolb, a veteran Newark candy-maker, produced his first batch of candied apples in 1908. While experimenting in his candy shop with red cinnamon candy for the Christmas trade, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display. He sold the whole first batch for 5 cents each and later sold thousands yearly. Soon candied apples were being sold along the Jersey Shore, at the circus and in candy shops across the country in 1948.

And there you have it. It's pretty amazing that something as simple as dipping an apple into some candy syrup could become such a classic treat known around the world. I prefer the regular candy version instead of cinnamon or other flavored versions. If you want, you can add some nutmeg, allspice, liqueurs, cinnamon extract or other flavoring to the mixture. This is Martha Stewart's recipe and I know you and you're family will enjoy making it. Have fun!

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp red food coloring (or other color of your choice)
6 apples (more or less, depending on their size)

Combine all ingredients except food coloring and apples. Stir to dissolve sugar. You want the sugar to be dissolved before you boil it so that the sugar doesn't crystallize. Cook the sugar syrup (without stirring) until you reach 290F. (Use a candy thermometer to be sure). Remove from heat. Add food coloring. Put a stick into each apple being sure that it's perfectly vertical. Using the Popsicle stick as a handle, dip apples into the candy syrup using a rotating motion. Be careful not to drip any of the candy coating onto your skin. This is seriously hot stuff!
After dipping, roll them in chopped nuts, if you like.
Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and allow to dry. Store in covered container, or wrap with parchment paper or greased wrap.

Using small firm tart apples (such as Granny Smith) works well because the apple tartness balances with the candy sweetness. You can use large apples, but smaller apples are easier to eat, plus you get a better candy to apple ratio.
If you want to make caramel apples, just melt a bag of Kraft caramels over a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and then dip your apples into the hot caramel.
This recipe can easily be doubled if you have lots and lots of apples to dip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mmmm ... I so want one of those right now! (Actually, I want a caramel apple rolled in mini chocolate chips, but I will not be particular if a candy apple is to show up on my doorstep.)