Tis the season to go apple picking. Luckily we were only thinking pumpkins, but our friends reminded and invited us up to Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol. We all had lots of fun. I was expecting ladders and pickers to reach the trees, however we could all stand (even my 5 year old) to pick our own. My husband was looking at them curiously and figured they must cut them in a certain way so they do not grow tall but out. They also grow asian pears for sale, but not u-pick. So all in all we bought 20 lbs of apples, plus another 5 of asian pears! I know I was surprised too. It’s just so fun and easy and of course each child wanted their own basket. They do add up.
Luckily I had lots of ideas and recipes in mind….
First we made Apple Crisps…
(from Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry)
An alternative to boring potato chips, this simple treat satisfies a child’s need for crunch. Using a mandoline provides convenience and accurate cuts for even baking. However a careful, steady knife works as well. The apples crisp in the low heat, which dries out the moisture. Once in the oven these need no attention (just remember to turn off the oven overnight), until it’s time to pack them (or eat them) in the morning.
Makes about 48 apple crisps; 4 (12-chip) servings
2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large organic apples such as Fuji or Braeburn
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Stir together evaporated cane juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
Using a mandoline or a steady hand and a knife, cut the apple vertically in to 1/8-inch-thick rounds. You do not need to core or peel the apple. The seeds will fall out or can easily be removed from apple slices after cutting.
Place apple slices on prepared baking sheets in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1½ hours. Rotate pans and cook for 1 hour more. Turn off heat and leave in the oven overnight if apples are not dry and crisp. Loosen chips with a spatula to remove from parchment paper.
Shake it Up! The easiest way to lightly and evenly sprinkle sugars and spices is to transfer to a spice shaker. Having a specially marked shaker for cinnamon and sugar saves time when making other snacks such as cinnamon toast or spicing up plain yogurt. This is also a “neat” way to get children to help with decorating and flavoring tasks.