Really Making The Apples Last
As we settled down for some PBS Christmas special last night, I reflected on the winter. A sneak snow storm was dusting the roads outside and it appears that winter has finally arrived, technically and meteorologically. While the apples in Santa Fe are well past their peak, once again we have put some up.
Applesauce, oh yes. Apple butter, you bet. (Even if it was an oddly long cook in the slow cooker which made the house smell magnificent, like a Crabtree & Evelyn store at the most potpourri time of year, but still took about a day longer to make and get in the jars than I had planned) We presented our apple benefactor with a jar of the neutron star of apple butters and it looked skimpy compared to the bushels we hauled away. I'm hoping they understand the concentrated apple power they hold in their hands.
This year's experiment was dried apples in the oven and, my friends, success! So easy, why did I think this was complicated? The end of the bushel apples were perfect...with some surgery. I didn't bother peeling them because I was sick of peeling apples. I eyeballed it on the thickness of the slice and that is the dividing line between apple chips and dried apples. Be open to accepting both. I put cooling racks on baking sheets and laid out the slices on the racks to promote air flow around the apples. I filled the rack as full as I could because I knew they would shrink. I put them in a warm oven (200 deg. F) for about an hour and then turned it off, left the oven door closed, and let them sit overnight. In the morning, we had chewy apple bits, not pretty but ours. Perhaps if I had gone through the lemon water soak with the slices they would be less tawny but ehhhh.
They will be a great addition to the constant flow of granola coming out of our oven. They will be great in EcoKid's lunch, they will be tasty when I go out to the kitchen in five minutes and have a few. I'll stand by the counter and have my snack while remembering clambering around that tree picking these apples. What an excellent use of my time.