15 ways to use your apples
If fresh apples are hardy, dried ones are versatile: Use them to create yummy snacks or great autumn decorations. Once you know how to dry an apple, you can create any number of dried crafts.
Display fragrant fruit flakes to add a pleasant scent to your home, string wedges into a wreath, or wrap one of your homemade soaps with a slice of dried apple to give as a gift. You can also enjoy dried apples as a snack. However, please note that drying apples for consumption usually involves baking and is a separate procedure from drying for crafts. Try the following refreshing dessert.
Cider Granita with Dried Apple Chips
Kathleen Howard Fleming was inspired to make this dessert on a apple-picking trip to Vermont. The apple chips are a snap to prepare and make exquisite snacks as well as garnishes.
4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brandy or applejack
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 Macintosh apples
1. To make the granita, in a medium saucepan, combine the cider, sugar, honey, brandy or applejack, and cinnamon stick.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the mixture has reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes.
3. Strain the syrup into a nonreactive metal container, such as an 8-by-8-inch baking pan, and freeze.
4. After 30 minutes, stir the mixture with the tines of a fork. This will give the granita a light, icy texture.
5. Return the pan to the freezer and repeat this process two or three more times, at 30-minute intervals, until the granita is granular and just frozen. Then let the mixture freeze completely, at least eight hours.
1. To make the apple chips, preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Blend together the sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
3. Using a very sharp knife or mandoline, slice the unpeeled, uncored apples crosswise (which produces a star pattern in the center) to a thickness of inch. Arrange the slices on the parchment and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
4. Bake the apples at 225 degrees for one hour, and then lift them momentarily off the parchment, to prevent sticking.
5. Continue baking them for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until the apples are golden brown and dry to the touch.
6. Remove them from the oven and let cool on a rack. (They will continue to crisp as they sit.)
7. Store the apple chips in an airtight container until ready to use.
To serve, scrape the granita with the tines of a fork and place in chilled dessert goblets. Garnish with the apple chips.