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Blanch the apples in a pan of boiling water for 30 secs to remove the wax and help the caramel to stick. Remove them with a slotted spoon, then wipe the skins with kitchen paper.
Remove the stalks and pierce each apple with a lolly stick or wooden skewer. Press the stick in far enough so it won’t come out, but be careful not to go the whole way through the apple. Put the apples in the fridge while you make the caramel.
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Put the sugar into a large saucepan with the syrup, butter and vanilla. Heat slowly over a medium heat for around 8 mins, or until the sugar has dissolved.
Increase the heat, bringing the mixture to a rolling boil. Add a sugar thermometer and boil for around 8 mins or until the thermometer reaches 140°C ‘hard crack’ stage – if you don’t have a thermometer you can check by spooning a bit into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to crack. Stir through the salt.
Remove the caramel from the heat. Submerge each apple into the caramel and twist it around using the stick. Make sure all but the very top is covered, the place each one on your baking tray. Continue until all the apples are covered. Be careful not to touch the caramel. Allow the coated apples to set for 1 hour before serving