8 October, 2016
It’s Apple Time in The Pacific Northwest
So we all know the story about the Garden of Eden and the apple. Yeah poor Adam let Eve talk him into eating the apple and gets them banished from paradise. Well, thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that here in the Pacific Northwest. It would be hell not having the opportunity to sample some of the delicious apples that are available in the fall season.
A few years ago we planted apple espalier trees along our property line. We wanted a property divider, a screen from a neighbor’s unsightly side yard, and to continue our quest to be sustainable, a plant that produced food. So apple espalier it is! And why stop at one tree, so we put in two! Both trees were grafted to produce several varieties, all semi-dwarf. We have gravestein, braeburn, red macintosh, honey crisp, dwarf gala, jona gold, liberty, and yellow delicious. We only harvested about half a dozen apples off these young trees this year, so have to supplement with farm grown until they mature a bit more.
Today’s recipe is simple and a favorite when you are in the mood for chips, apples, or a healthy snack. While they are easy to make, they do require some oven time.
CINNAMON APPLE CHIPS
• 2 large apples (I used Honey Crisp because that’s what I had on-hand, could use any variety)
• Cooking spray
I use my apple peeler to thinly slice the apples or you can use mandolin. You can leave the peel on or slice it off. Today I took the peels off and cooked them separately. At this point spray a couple of cookie sheets with non-stick spray and place the apple slices around, being careful not to overlap. If you want chips with sugar and cinnamon you can put in a ziplock with sugar mixture, shake and then lay apple slices out. For large apples, it takes one cookie sheet per apple. You can also dehydrate the apples if you choose. I cooked these at 200° for about 4 hours. They were still just a little pliable when I took them out of the oven, but they crisped up after cooling.
Fruit Roll-Up: Another recipe I’ve made with apples when they start getting old, is to make fruit leather. Most kids love fruit roll-ups and enjoy making this recipe. You may not have to worry about storing fruit roll-ups, there may not be anything leftover once it is out of the oven!
Puree apples either in a food processor, potato masher or a blender. If fruit is not soft enough, then place in a pan with a small amount of water to cook for a few minutes to soften the apples. (Kids have a blast mashing the apples with a potato masher.) Once pureed, taste test to see if it needs sweetener or if you want to any add spices.
Prep a lipped cooking sheet with good quality plastic wrap. Spread your fruit mixture evenly on the cookie sheet. Cook in oven at 180-200° for 5-8 hours. You can also use the dehydrate feature on your oven if you have that option. I check it occasionally. Fruit should be firm, not gooey, and pliable. Use the plastic wrap liner to roll up the fruit. Can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week.
Fruit Brittle: If you goofed and left the fruit in the oven for too long, and gosh, now it is stiff and breaking when you try to roll it up, you’re a genius! You’ve just figured out to make fruit brittle! I consider this version candy because it can be broken into chunks when you need just a tasty bite of something sweet.
There is a fine line between brittle and burned. I’m sure you’ll figure that one out on your own. Just saying….. from experience. 🙂
Applesauce: We can’t forget applesauce during apple season! Wash and peel apples, core and cut into chunks. Place in pan with water (amount of water depends on variety of the apple and how thick or thin you want your applesauce to come out). Add sugar and cinnamon if you want to. I rarely add either because I love the taste of the fruit plain and makes it easy to use the applesauce in other dishes like a pork or savory recipe. Let apples cook until soft – 5 or so minutes. Mash with potato masher or emulsify in pan if you want a smoother sauce.
Link to my Pancakes With Apples recipe in case you missed it.
Apple Fritter Bread: Just saw this recipe posted on Facebook. I haven’t tried it, but wanted to pass it along. It looks amazing!
Enjoy apple season!