The apple has long been a magical symbol of Halloween. From ancient Roman festivals to Victorian parlour games, a shiny apple held the promise of magic, fertility and sustenance as the days grew shorter and colder. The addition of candy coating in the early half of the last century made for a perfect Halloween treat. This recipe, goes one step further to create a wickedly grown-up version of the holiday classic.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons edible activated charcoal*
6 to 8 firm tart apples
cleaned (non toxic twigs) or popsicle sticks
If you decide to use twigs instead of popsicle sticks, make sure you’re collecting from non-toxic trees. Birch, ash, apple, cottonwood, elm, pine, and poplar are all fine. Sharpen the end of the sticks with a knife and rinse well in a (very mild) bleach solution. Rinse with plain hot water and allow to dry. The twigs really do add a bit of theatre to this spooky treat!
1.) Line a tray or cookie sheet with parchment and spray with nonstick spray.
2.) In a deep saucepan over medium-high heat (with a candy thermometer in place), add water, sugar, corn syrup, and charcoal. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar reaches hard-crack stage, 300 degrees.
3.) Insert a twig or popsicle stick into each apple. Bring your greased & lined tray close to the pot. When your sugar mixture is at the hard-crack stage, quickly dip each apple to coat, and place on your prepared sheet tray to set.
*Note on activated charcoal: Since activated charcoal flushes out substances in the stomach and intestines, it can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs. Use with caution. You can sub the charcoal with a professional grade food dye.