Marzipan Caramel Apples with Sesame and Almond Recipe
A Basic Caramel Apple is delicious as is, but it’s like a blank canvas: It can have endless mixtures of flavors layered on. Here, a caramel-coated Granny Smith gets a roll in a combination of toasted almonds and sesame seeds. Stuffed inside, sweet marzipan (almond paste) with a dash of five-spice powder adds an unexpected twist.
What to buy: A reliable candy/fat thermometer is crucial for getting an accurate read on the caramel. We like this thermometer from CDN.
The crunchy texture and slightly sour flavor of Granny Smith apples work nicely with this particular caramel apple combination. But feel free to substitute any locally grown apple with the same characteristics.
Craft sticks give these apples an authentic state-fair feel. Look for them next to the apples in the produce section of the grocery store or order them online. If you can’t find them, chopsticks will work in a pinch.
Game plan: You’ll have a bit of caramel left after dipping the apples, so try making some soft caramels with the excess. To do so, pour the remaining caramel into a parchment-lined, 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and, if desired, sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit at room... read more
For the apples:
- 8 slightly sour apples, such as Granny Smith, at room temperature
- 8 craft sticks or chopsticks
For the coating:
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- Wash the apples under hot water to get off any wax coating, then dry thoroughly. Starting on the bottom, core the apples with the smaller scoop of a melon baller. Reserve the bottom “plugs” of the apples. Continue coring up to the top inch of the apples (you just want all the seeds removed). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Stuff the apples with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the marzipan, then close with the reserved apple plugs. Push the sticks through the stem ends of the apples and set the apples on the prepared baking sheet.
For the coating:
- Place the almonds and sesame seeds in a shallow dish and stir to combine; set aside. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture registers 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately dip the bottom of the saucepan in the ice water bath and let it chill until the bubbles have subsided, about 1 minute. Stir until any stiff caramel from the bottom is incorporated into the warm caramel on top. Remove from the water bath.
- Dip the apples one at a time into the caramel, rotating once to coat 3/4 of the way up the sides. Lift each apple straight up from the caramel, letting the excess drip back into the pot until the drips have slowed, about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Roll each apple in the almond mixture and hold upright for 10 to 15 seconds. Place back on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining apples. (If the caramel gets too hard to coat the apples well, set the pan over low heat and rewarm, stirring constantly, until the caramel is loose and pourable.)
- Refrigerate the apples until set, at least 10 minutes. The apples can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 1 day in advance.