Caramel apples are delicious, but most of us don’t have the opportunity to enjoy them unless we buy one at a fair or if we have a friend or relative who loves to bake. The biggest barrier to making them for ourselves is that melting the caramel is too daunting – so what’s the easiest way?
The Best Way to Melt Caramel
The first thing to do to make your life as easy as possible is to buy your caramel as a loaf, like Peter’s Caramel. This is – quite literally – a loaf of caramel you can cut into small blocks for easy melting.
For caramel apples, the ideal melting temperature is 120-150F. If you overdo it the caramel may burn, ruin your pan, taste bitter, or crack as it cools.
You have a few different options on the best way to go about melting your caramel, and the best way will depend on the equipment you have in your kitchen and how you like to cook. For example, if you like “set and forget” when you’re cooking in the kitchen, melting your caramel in the oven will be best, whereas if you want to stand and monitor your caramel or only have a stove and a pan, melting it on a stove will be best. The methods are:
Oven – set to 200F. Put your caramel cubes into a French oven and leave to melt in the oven for 90-120 minutes.
Stove Top – set your ring to the lowest setting to start with your cubes in the pan, then warm to melting point carefully. Monitor the caramel and stir until it as completely melted.
Microwave – cook on high for 1 minute, then stir and repeat at a lower temperature setting until it melts completely. Monitor carefully as it will want to burn at the edges.
Crockpot – set it to the “warm” setting (165F) and monitor very carefully as it is slightly too hot for the caramel.
Prepare for Dipping
Do you want plain caramel apples, or do you want to add a topping or a theme? If your chosen method will take some time to melt, prepare for the next stage while monitoring it by preparing a lined baking sheet and any toppings you’d like. You can also dye your caramel, which is perfect for 4th of July or Halloween celebrations; all you need to do is add your desired food coloring before you dip.
Wedge your apples onto your chosen skewers (just make sure they’re thick enough to support the weight of the apple).
Tip your pan toward you, dip the apple and twirl to fully coat. You can also use a spoon to “baste” when you get low on caramel.
Roll the apple in any desired toppings and then place the apple upside-down on your lined baking sheet. When you’ve done all your apples, place them in the refrigerator to help the caramel set in place faster.
Once the caramel hardens you can eat!