Lemon Spice Candy Apples
Whether you’re celebrating the coming of fall colors, having a Halloween party, or you just need a new idea for a delicious treat, Lemon Spice Candy Apples fit the bill. They begin, of course, with nice crisp apples, and you can use either sweet or tart as you prefer. The special candy coating gets its flavor punch from cinnamon and lemon zest, for a delightful variation on a traditional favorite.
- 8 small apples
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 8 wooden skewers
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the apples, and dry them with a paper towel. Line them up on the baking sheet, and insert a wooden skewer about halfway through each through the core, on the end with the stem. Set aside for now.
- Add the water, lemon juice, and sugar to a pot, and bring to a boil over a high setting. Stir the mixture until the sugar has melted. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high.
- Set a timer and boil for 20 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reaches between 300 and 310. This is called the “hard crack” stage. You can test it by letting a drop fall onto a plate at room temperature. It should stand up stiffly rather than drip like a liquid.
- Remove the pot from the burner, and stir the cinnamon and ginger into the mixture quickly.
- If you like, you can also add a few drops of food coloring at this point.
- Wait until the mixture has stopped bubbling, if necessary. Dip the apples into the sugar candy one by one, twirling them around until coated on all sides. Set them on the baking sheet as they are done.
- Sprinkle with the lemon zest while the candy coating is still warm.
- Allow them to cool completely before serving. The coating should be crunchy.
Note: When it comes to apples, the harder and crisper, the better. For crisp and sweet varieties, look to Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp apples. Crisp and tart varieties include the Granny Smith, Cripps Pink, and Braeburn.
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