Drying apples: An adventure in raisins

For about the last month, the two apple trees in the backyard have been gushing forth their collective bounty. After applesauce and other desserts with them, I pondered about apple chips. They’re good, but I thought if they were cut differently and dried at a lower temperature they could resemble a raisin. A few hours later, the results bore fruit so to speak (lame pun). An interesting surprise is when this was done with the peels, a crispy chip resulted anyways, so it was a win-win situation. This is the results:

 

Apple Raisins with Dried Apple Chips

4 large apples

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Coal Lake Honey Farms sunflower honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp water

Preheat an oven to 80C/180F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and water. Set aside.

Peel the apples, adding the peels to the reserved lemon-water mixture, then core and coarsely chop the apples (1cm/1/2″ dice is optimal). Add the chopped apples to the lemon-water mixture as well. Toss the peels and chopped apples in the lemon-water mixture. Strain off the liquid and spread the peels in a single layer on one prepared baking sheet. Spread the apple chunks on the other baking sheet and place both baking sheets in the preheated oven for 2 hours.

When the peels are dry (check at the 2 hour point but it may take a little longer, depending on how thick you peeled the apple), remove them from the oven and set aside on the baking sheet for another hour to become completely crisp. It should crackle like a potato chip when prodded. They are best when eaten immediately, but can be stored at room temperature in a resealable freezer bag or resealable container for a week.

The apple chunks should be tossed and dried for a further 1-1/2 to 2 hours until the fresh apple “bite” is gone and a chewy raisin-like texture is achieved. Some chunks will dry faster than others, so it’s best to test with your fingers and your tastebuds. It becomes easier to detect with your fingers, the more times you do it. Practice is important.

These are both wonderful snacks on their own, tossed on a salad for textural interest or in a batch of oatmeal cookies. The dried apple skin chips can be ground into powder and added to the dry ingredients to add extra apple flavour to any number of baked goods (cookies, biscuits, pancakes, coffee cakes, muffins)

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