How D’ya Like Them Apples? With Apple Crisps recipe

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.

our apple haul

Luckily I had lots of ideas and recipes in mind….

First we made Apple Crisps…

 

apple crisps

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.

Kids Korner

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.

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O’ Christmas Tree with Apple Crisps Recipe

measuring a sapling
measuring a sapling

We talked about a tree quite a bit this year…a big tree, a living tree, just a kids’ tree?  I was thinking a big living tree that we could have outside with lights and be able to plant in the yard and watch it grow year after year.  My daughter, being 3 doesn’t remember much about the previous years of trees (or the holidays for that matter) so she thought planting a tree sounded good.  However when my son realized this would be no ornaments on the big tree he was dissappointed.  He really enjoys unwrapping the ornaments every year.  And I must admit, I would miss this ritual too. 

We do not have a stylized or as I say “Pottery Barn” tree.  A few years ago I was taken back by friends who had an amazing tree of all silver matching ornaments.  It was beautiful, but there was no story or history.  Ours would not be in a magazine or catalog.  By this I mean our ornaments are a hodgepodge.  When I was little my mom always put individual little trees in my sister and my bedrooms.  Each year we would carefully select a new ornament and add it to our collection.  The collection is quite eclectic (although I chose many mini wooden angels) and international (ornaments made from all over the world vs. today’s all made in China).  These ornaments now hang on the big family tree, as well as some of them were handed down to my kids for their own trees.  Hoping they too will enjoy collecting.  This makes some of the ornaments 30 – 40 plus years old.  There are even a few my grandmother beaded from the 1950’s.

This year we decided to go to a sustainable Christmas tree farm in Petaluma and cut our own.  My husband grew up in the mountains where you’d always cut your own (no lot or farm needed).  However we’d always gone to the local school or tree lot.  I like the idea of cutting one tree and knowing another will be planted.  I’m also hoping it’s going to last and not turn brown too quickly.

Our family had a great time on our tree outing …hiding in the trees, measuring up the perfect tree, seeing farm animals, visiting Santa, collecting “tree cookies”, using a saw, etc…  I must admit though I had to remind myself that more trees would be planted.  I heard a dad comically yell “Timber” at the top of his lungs and thought of the truffala trees.  If you have little ones you know about the Dr. Suess book entitled “The Lorax“.  When seeing the stumps of the pine trees, I kept thinking of the poor Truffala trees which were hacked down to make thneeds (which of course nobody needs).  But I kept telling myself this was different.  True, no one needs a Christmas tree.  But they bring great joy and memories to children and adults alike.  Plus these would be recycled (make into mulch) and new seeds planted in their place.

Truffala Stump Reminders
Truffala Stump RemindersThe Lorax

We got the tree home, after many miles of hoping the tree rope was tied well enough to the top of the car.  We made hot apple cider and snacked on apple chips (see recipe below) and carefully unwrapped the ornaments one at a time and told the history of each ornament.  It was all going so well, until I realized my 3 year old was unwrapping (aka ripping and destroying) a paper Santa head ornament.  It’s hard to explain to a child that the ornament was wrapped in paper, but also made of paper (35 year old paper) and shouldn’t have been unwrapped.  So there’s one less in the collection.  

cider
Simply Heat: apple juice, orange wedges, cinnamon stick, and clove
apple chips ready for the oven
apple chips ready for the oven

Apple Crisps

(page 47 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.

 

Kids Korner

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.

Share