Tamarind Apples

All four flavors-sweet, salty, sour, and bitter-play in the extraordinary ensemble that performs this smash-hit recipe for a delicious Mexican street treat.

Tamarind caramel apples on sticks
Photo: Joseph Robert Crimmings
Hands On Time:
40 mins
Stand Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
8 caramel apples


  • 8 large Granny Smith apples

  • ½ cup Mexican chile-lime seasoning, such as Tajin

  • 2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 cup butter

  • 1 cup light-color corn syrup

  • ¼ cup tamarind concentrate

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Line a tray with paper towels. Bring a large saucepan of water to boiling. To remove wax, use a slotted spoon to dip apples, one at a time, in boiling water 2 to 3 seconds, then transfer to prepared tray. Using a soft cloth, rub any wax residue from apple. Insert a wooden skewer or bamboo chopstick into stem end.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a large plate, pour chile-lime seasoning into a 3-inch-wide strip.

  3. For caramel, in a 6-qt. Dutch oven combine next five ingredients (through tamarind concentrate). Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 12 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 248°F, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

  4. Working quickly, dip an apple into hot caramel, turning to coat and allowing excess to drip off. Lightly roll apple horizontally over chile-lime strip so seasoning adheres to caramel. Place apple upright on prepared baking sheet. (Or lightly sprinkle seasoning over top of apple.) Repeat with remaining apples, reforming seasoning into a strip as needed. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes or until caramel is set.

To Store

Wrap each caramel apple in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Tamarind Apples Variation:

Prepare apples as directed in Step 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a large plate, pour chile-lime seasoning into a 3-inch-wide strip. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine two 14-ounce packages vanilla caramels, unwrapped, and 2 Tbsp. tamarind paste. Microwave on high 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until almost completely melted, stirring occasionally. Stir well. Add enough water (1 to 2 tablespoons) to make smooth and dippable. Microwave for 15 to 20 seconds more, if necessary to make smooth. Working quickly, dip each apple into hot caramel, coating completely. Allow excess to drip off. Carefully roll each apple horizontally and lightly over the chile-lime seasoning strip, adhering mixture to caramel. Transfer apple upright to parchment paper to cool completely; repeat with remaining apples. Makes 8 caramel apples.Nutrition analysis per serving: 284 calories, 3 g protein, 50 g carbohydrate, 6 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 31 g total sugar, 2% Vitamin A, 54% Vitamin C, 1285 mg sodium, 15% Calcium, 1% Iron

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

439 Calories
14g Fat
76g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 439
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 1295mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 76g 28%
Total Sugars 70g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 49.2mg 246%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 0.4mg 2%
Potassium 269mg 6%
Folate, total 6.8mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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