A few months ago, my friend Amie and I made a delicious, raw apple pie. Here’s the recipe. Amie and I tweaked it a bit – we added about 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to dates, almonds and salt in the crust. We also added about 1/8 teaspoon salt to the orange-date syrup. And Amie fixed this amazing cashew cream sauce to drizzle over it, with an extra 1/2 teaspoon salt. It was the best. We were especially proud of the crust which, incidentally, was the first thing I made in my awesome, new Cuisinart food processor.
But alas, the world isn’t perfect. As happy as we were with the pie, there was one drawback – I had LOTS of leftover apples. Those big bags of gala apples had been on sale at Whole Foods and, rather than simply buy the appropriate amount of apples for the pie, I went hog wild and bought a whole bag. Hey, a girl can’t turn down a sale, right? And anyway, I was sure I’d find something to do with them.
Ordinarily, I’d employ my amazing powers of fruit alchemy to turn that bag of crunchy galas into a batch of smooth, creamy apple butter. But I was itching to make granola and it occurred to me that including dried apples would be just splendid. I could also have made a dried apple pie.
Ok, so here’s the good part. Drying fruit is actually super easy. It takes some time, yes, but it’s so easy your toddler can do it. Ok, maybe not – kids and ovens usually don’t mix. And no, you don’t need a food dehydrator (although they’re so nifty I’ve often thought of getting one).
First, procure yourself a bunch of apples. Then preheat the oven to 215 degrees. Peel and core the apples.
If you’re using them for granola like me, chop the apples into smaller pieces. You can also use my grandma’s recipe and make an amazing dried apple pie. Grandmas always have the cleverest ideas, don’t they?
Dump the apple pieces into a mixing bowl and sprinkle them with a bit of cinnamon. I used about 1/2 a teaspoon for about 2 pounds of apples but it really just depends on your taste. In fact, you don’t have to use any at all.
Toss the apples and the cinnamon.
Spread out the apples in one layer on a baking sheet and bake them for about 5 hours. Start checking them around 4 1/2 hours. When they’re done, they should be squishy, not crisp or moist and not tough.
Voila! Pretty simple, right? Now, go forth, my readers, and dry apples to your heart’s content!