Crackling Candy Apples

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Choose the reddest small apples available. Macintosh, Spartan and Courtland apples are excellent.

Watch the boiling sugar mixture carefully, because the temperature rises quickly near the end of the cooking process and the mixture burns easily; plunging the pan into ice water stops the cooking and prevents burning. Wear rubber gloves when swirling the apples to avoid sugar burns.

Store apples, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days at room temperature.


  • 8 small red apples
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring


  1. Remove stem from each small apple; insert wooden stir-stick, for holding, in center of stem end. Set aside.
  2. Grease baking sheet; set aside.
  3. In 12-cup heavy-bottom saucepan, combine sugar, water and corn syrup; cook, stirring, over medium-low heat for 8 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, brushing down side of pan occasionally with brush, dipped in hot water to prevent crystallization.
  5. Boil, brushing down side occasionally but not stirring, for 15-25 minutes or until soft-crack stage of 290 degrees F (143 degrees C) on candy thermometer, or until 1/2 teaspoon syrup dropped into cold water separates into hard but pliable threads.
  6. Remove syrup from heat; very quickly stir in red food coloring. Immediately plunge bottom of pan into ice water and hold for about 15 seconds or until sizzling stops.
  7. Holding each apple by the wooden stick and tilting the saucepan, swirl each apple in candy syrup until well coated all over.
  8. Lift apple and quickly swirl over pan to allow excess to drip off.
  9. Place on prepared baking sheet; let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or until hardened.

Yield: 8 servings