Grenadine, that brilliant red syrup made from (or flavoured with) pomegranates and best known for its role in Shirley Temples, also makes pretty fab candy apples. They’re fun to make – best with the apples that come in bags at the grocery store, which tend to be smaller than those piled on produce displays. There’s no trick to it, but they make pretty tasty treats. If you like, dip their bottoms in small candies, nuts or sprinkles.
Watch your candy as it cooks; as the temperature rises it can burn quickly, so don’t leave the pot to go check your email! You can stir the mixture at the beginning, until the sugar dissolves; after that just swirl the pan gently to prevent crystals from forming. Have your apples washed, dried and ready to go – you’ll have to work quickly once the syrup reaches the hard crack stage. If it cools and becomes too thick, simply set the pot over the heat again until it liquefies.
Note: as you’re working with hot candy, this is not a great project for young children; older kids will love to help, though.
Grenadine Candy Apples
adapted from Epicurious
8 small red apples
2 cups sugar
1 cup grenadine syrup
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar (this is important – it will prevent crystallization, just stop stirring once the mixture comes to a boil). Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until the mixture reaches 300F.
Immediately dip the apples by holding them by the stick and submerging them completely in the candy; tilt the pan as you need to in order to coat them well. If you would like to add candies or other toppings, sprinkle them over the apples (or dip their bottoms into a shallow bowl before the candy sets), then set them stick-up on the lined baking sheet. Set aside to harden and cool.
Once completely cooled, wrap each candy apple in cellophane.