If you have fond childhood memories of the tart apple-flavored lollipop draped in a rich and creamy caramel coating, you will love how easy it is to make your own homemade caramel apple pops.
Making lollipops at home is an easy process but you will need a few key pieces of equipment, like a candy thermometer, lollipop mold, and candy sticks. It is also important to make sure everything is ready to go before you begin because candy making is a time-sensitive process.
Invest in a candy thermometer—they are not expensive and come in very handy not only for making candy, but other times you need to achieve an exact temperature in the kitchen (such as deep-frying or yogurt-making). Look for one with a clasp that will attach to the side of the saucepan and with a stopper on the bottom so the tip of the thermometer won't touch the bottom of the pan.
Next, be sure to purchase a silicone lollipop mold since the plastic molds used for chocolate can't withstand the high heat of the liquid sugar. Finally, purchase apple extract or apple oil as well as citric acid for these lollipops. That combination will result in the tart apple flavor you know and love from the original.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons green apple extract
- 1 teaspoon citric acid
- 5 drops liquid green food coloring
- 1 cup soft caramels
Gather the ingredients. Fill a large bowl with ice and top with water and set aside. Add candy sticks to the slots in the lollipop mold, reaching about halfway up the circle.
Combine the granulated sugar, light corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Attach the candy thermometer to the interior of the saucepan.
Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the mix to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Boil the mixture for 10 minutes until it reaches 310 F (hard-crack stage) on the candy thermometer. Immediately transfer the saucepan to the bowl of ice water, carefully submerging the sides but ensuring no water seeps into it. Gently swirl the pan for 10 to 15 seconds to help the mixture cool then remove the saucepan from the bowl of ice water.
Add the apple extract, citric acid, and green food coloring immediately after you remove the saucepan from the ice bath.
Working quickly, pour the syrup into the lollipop molds. Let cool completely until fully hardened then carefully peel the lollipops from the molds.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the caramels in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring each time.
Dip the hardened lollipops into the melted caramel. Place on parchment paper until set.
How to Store
Store prepared caramel apple pops in an airtight container, separated by parchment or waxed paper, for a week or longer. Alternatively, you can wrap each lollipop in plastic.