Seasonal Recipes: Homemade Maple Toffee Apples

These are the maple toffee apples from my story A Week in Books: Stories to treasure, traditional recipes and seasonal flowers

Maple toffee apples are wonderful in autumn, for evenings spent outdoors, wrapped up warm by a fire. Consider also making these with surplus apples in August and enjoying them cool from the fridge on hot summer days.


6 eating apples

400g (1 3/4 cups) golden caster sugar

100ml (1/2 cup) water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons syrup, such as:

  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup = maple flavour
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup = standard toffee apples


6 skewers

Baking parchment

Baking sheet or chopping board (to fit your fridge shelf)

Medium drinking glass

Ice cube tray (you will need one ice cube)

Large, deep saucepan

Metal teaspoon

Metal desert spoon or ladle

Wooden spoon

To make toffee brittle with the leftover syrup mixture, you will need to prepare a square cake tin, lined with baking parchment.


  • Line the baking sheet or chopping board with the baking parchment. Set aside for later.
  • Fill the saucepan with boiling water and place the apples in the water for one minute.
    • Dunk the apples under the water with a wooden spoon so that all of the apple skin touches the boiling water.
  • Remove the apples from the water and twist off the stalks.
  • Insert a skewer halfway through each apple core from the stalk end, until it holds the apple securely. We used homegrown bamboo canes for ours.
  • Fill up your drinking glass half way with cold water, add an ice cube and leave within easy reach of the hob. The ice cube will keep the water cooled ready for later.
  • Discard the used water from the saucepan.
  • Place the empty saucepan on the hob.
  • Add the sugar and the 100ml of water to the saucepan.
  • Bring the sugar-water mixture to a boil, whilst gently stirring.
  • When the mixture has boiled, reduce to a simmer until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  • Add the lemon juice, golden syrup and maple syrup (or the syrup mix of your choosing), stir in gently with the wooden spoon, then bring back to the boil.
  • Carefully watch the boiling sugar mixture at all times and every minute take a scant teaspoon of the mixture and drop it into the glass of cold water. When the syrup in the glass forms a little solid ball, rather than dropping like liquid to the base of the glass, the mixture is at the perfect point for coating the apples.
  • Place your lined baking sheet / chopping board next to the hob, making sure to keep the parchment lining paper well away from the flame if using a gas hob, to prevent the paper catching fire.
  • Pick up an apple by the skewer, dip the apple into the boiling mixture with one hand, whilst using the dessert spoon / ladle to gently coat the apple. Then place the coated apple onto the parchment paper to cool. Repeat for the remaining apples.
  • If you want to make toffee brittle see the optional stage at the end of this recipe. If not, empty the saucepan straight away and soak in water to prevent any damage to the pan surface by the sugar as it cools and sticks.
  • Traditionally, you would leave the apples to set with the skewer standing upright, so that the flattened part of the toffee is at the top of the apple – I prefer to have mine resting lengthways, so that I can fit them in the fridge.
  • Place the tray of coated apples in the fridge until the toffee is completely hardened. This takes approximately one hour.
  • They are now ready to enjoy.

Optional final stage – to create shards of Toffee Brittle

  • Carefully pour the remaining hot sugary syrup into a lined cake tin and after waiting for it to stop boiling, place the tin into the fridge to cool.
  • Once completely hardened, the toffee can be broken up into shards by covering it with parchment paper and lightly tapping with a rolling pin.
  • The shards (see photo below) can be used in other recipes, reboiled to create more toffee sauce or dropped into warm drinks, in the place of your usual sugar cubes, as a warming autumnal flavouring.

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Apple: Recipes from the orchard

A Week in Books: Stories to treasure, traditional recipes and seasonal flowers

On a Sunday evening, I like to clear the shelf next to my desk, in preparation for the week ahead. There will always be a pile of books that have accumulated beside me. These will include stories my daughter has brought over for me to read to her and those that I have quickly grabbed to find a quotation, or check an ingredient for a recipe. There might be a seasonal book or two where I have looked up a flower name or gardening wisdom.

I enjoy the moment when I scoop them up and shelve them again, the titles on the spines evoke a diary of the days just passed: A Week in Books.

The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem

This week my daughter chose our Brambly Hedge treasury. After reading “A Summer Story” we took the book out into the garden to see which flowers we could spot for ourselves.

The Complete Brambly Hedge: A Summer Story

We live near to hedged fields, so our walks together often seem to leap out of the pages of the Brambly Hedge stories.

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020″ by Lia Leendertz

I think of The Almanac as an “outdoors book” to be read in the open air. August’s chapter tells of the luck of finding a traditional Scottish charm:

A rare patch of white heather … historically sold at fairs and tucked into brides’ bouquets

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020″ by Lia Leendertz

I happened to be reading by the pebble stream where our white Scottish heather plant is growing, so took a sprig to use as a bookmark.

“The Wood: The Life and Times of Cockshutt Wood” by John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel’s “The Wood” tells of August being:

[T]hat awkward old month at the end of summer, when the majority of plants are past their profuse youthful best

“The Wood: The Life and Times of Cockshutt Wood” by John Lewis-Stempel

It prompted me to gather in samples of those flowers that still remain in mid-August, creating a photographic reminder for winter, of the colours of summer to come.

“Apple: Recipes from the Orchard” by James Rich

A friend kindly dropping off a crate of their surplus apples resulted in this book being happily retrieved from the shelf.

I gave the children reusable stickers and they staked claim to the recipes in the book that they most wanted to try. Toffee apples won. We created our own maple-flavoured versions ( Homemade Maple Toffee Apples ) and then made toffee brittle shards from the leftover syrup to add to warm drinks: Autumn in a mug.

“England’s Heritage Food and Cooking” by Annette Yates

Traditional recipes teach us how to make the best of each season, as they hark back to a time when the majority of people had no choice but to cook with whatever grew in their gardens or was available locally. We have been baking Shrewsbury Cakes, a biscuit recipe from the 1600s. We will also be trying a Kentish Cherry Batter Pudding in the next week.

“The Hobbit: Three Dimensional Book” by JRR Tolkien

On Saturday we discovered a Mirkwood full of spiders under the Fuchsia in our garden. A moment of dramatic tension occurred when a large very real spider crawled into the pages unseen and then dropped out on a thread when we lifted the book up. My little daughter thought that this was an excellent addition to the storytelling, however, I wonder if she will expect this level of realism every time from now on.

In a cave by the little stream, we encountered a strange fisherman. I used a torch to make Bilbo’s little reflective blade glow its warning.

Our tale concluded with us sneaking away safely from a fire breathing Smaug, who had hidden in our pumpkin patch amongst courgette-flower flames.

It is now Sunday evening and time to gather up all of the books and replace them on the shelves, whilst wondering what the next week will bring.

Do you have a favourite book from your childhood that you still treasure?

Visit my Little Art Shop:

Commission Enquiries:

I’ve linked below to where you can buy the items mentioned in my post from Amazon. If you click on the picture and buy the item I will get a small commission to help support my art.

The Complete Brambly Hedge: Celebrating forty years of Brambly Hedge with this gorgeous storybook treasury (Brambly Hedge)

Apple: Recipes from the orchard

The Wood: The Life & Times of Cockshutt Wood

England’s Heritage Food and Cooking: A Classic Collection of 160 Traditional Recipes from This Rich and Varied Culinary Landscape, Shown in 750 Beautiful Photographs