How long do caramel apples last unrefrigerated?
Caramel apples can be kept at room temperature for up to 7 days if stored in an air-tight container.
How long do caramel apples last in the fridge?
Caramel apples last about 2-3 weeks in the fridge If you refrigerate them within 2 hours of preparation. Refrigerated caramel apples are at high risk of listeria contamination.
*Discard caramel apples that have been sitting in the fridge for more than 3 weeks. Do not consume If any signs of mold appear even after a few days into the storage. Consuming listeria-contaminated caramel apples leads to listeriosis.
*Common symptoms of this food-borne illness include headache, fever, and stiff neck, which appear after 3-4 weeks after the consumption of infected food.
Ingredients in Homemade Caramel
*Heavy cream: You specifically need heavy cream or heavy whipping cream to make a caramel with the perfect consistency to coat apples. Using milk or half-and-half are bad substitutes since they make the caramel too runny.
*Light corn syrup: Corn syrup is different from High Fructose Corn Syrup, which goes through an additional reigning process. Corn syrup is responsible for the sticky consistency of the caramel that helps it adhere to the apples. It imparts a taffy-like consistency to the caramel and can be substituted with some other liquid sweeteners.
*Brown sugar: Brown sugar provides a very rich texture, color, and flavor to the caramel as compared to regular white sugar. The rich molasses content is what gives the caramel its taffy-like soft texture.
*Butter: Butter gives flavor, softness, and richness to our homemade caramel.
*Salt and vanilla extract: DO not underestimate the flavor of these ingredients. These are added in small amounts but impact the flavor profile of the caramel significantly.
How to make homemade caramel apples?
The apples should be washed, dried, and cool. The washing step removes the wax coating of the apple peel while the cooling and cooling step helps the caramel to adhere to the apple peel.
*Remove the apple steam and poke a hole through it using a caramel apple stick.
*Heat heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a saucepan on the stovetop. Heat for about 15-20 minutes or until soft-ball-stage is reached at which the temperature of the caramel reads as 235°F (113°C).
*The ideal caramel consistency can be achieved anywhere between 235°F – 240°F. So, monitoring the temperature is critical.
*Remove the caramel from heat. When it cools a bit, stir in some vanilla. Dip the apples in the caramel to coat. Place the apples on a silicone baking mat lined with parchment paper.
*Let the caramel cool and set. Store or wrap in cellophane for gifting.
*Slow cooker to keep warm
*After cooking the caramel, pour it into the slow cooker and turn on the keep warm setting on low power.
*Stir after every 10 minutes to make sure the caramel doesn’t burn and is homogenous. This is a great way to let everyone make their caramel-dipped apples when you are hosting a party.
Best apples for caramel apples
Any variety like Granny Smith, Fuji, or Honeycrisp apples is a good variety as long as you like the taste of it. Generally, apples with a tart flavor like the Granny Smith are preferred to complement the sweet flavor of the caramel.
Tools you need for caramel apples
Candy thermometer: An accurate candy thermometer not only makes the process easier but also eliminates the chances of error. It critically gauges the temperature and makes sure the perfect caramel is made.
*Heavy-bottomed saucepan: A thick and heavy-bottomed saucepan eliminates the chances of the creation of hot spots that might burn your caramel.
*A thick and straight-walled saucepan with a heavy bottom will ensure uniform heating and withstand high temperatures.
*Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is heat resistant. It does not transfer heat that prevents the crystallization of the sugar due to temperature drop.
*Pastry brush: A pastry brush is important to remove and add the splashed syrup from the wells of the saucepan into the caramel. This prevents the syrup from burning and crystallizing. You could use a splash of water to wipe clean the sides.
*Wooden sticks: Wooden sticks of 5.5 – 7 inches in diameter are more durable than regular skewers.