Inspiring vegetarian recipes
Try our vibrant veggie dishes, from meat-free lasagne to vegetable curry and vegetarian chilli
Put the apples in a bowl and cover with boiling water, then drain carefully. Wash well under hot water to remove any remaining wax. This will help the caramel stick to the apples. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Remove the stalks and add a stick, wooden chopstick or large lolly stick in its place. Lightly oil a piece of baking paper over a baking sheet.
Put the sugar, syrup and 4 tbsp water in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for 5 minutes until the syrup turns lightly golden and the bubbles begin to turn very small, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until deep golden – avoid stirring as it turns golden, just tilt the pan to stir if needed.
Check the caramel has reached 150C (hard crack stage) on a sugar thermometer, or drop a little into a glass of cold water – when ready, it will turn firm and brittle, rather than soft and chewy. Keep cooking for a few minutes more if needed. Stir in a few drops of food colouring if you want the apples to be bright red.
Reduce the heat to low – if the caramel gets too dark, remove it from the heat, but you may need a little heat to keep the caramel liquid enough to dunk. Dip the prepared apples into the caramel, spinning them in the sugar to coat all over. Transfer to the lined tray, then sprinkle over the chopped nuts or seeds, working quickly before the caramel sets. Leave to set for 1 hour until completely hard. Best eaten within a day of making.