Sunday, 6 September 2009

Autumn in the air

Autumn is here, you can smell it. It was quite cool today, even if the sun came out and it was a nice day. I don't mind autumn, and after Ireland and its one, rainy season, all the four seasons seem very exciting. We went to Kollwitzplatz market in Prenzlauer Berg yesterday, and ohmygod, it was amazing! We have only been there on a Thursdays for the organic market, before, and that is a smaller event. Now there was so much yumminess all around us, that I think we could have spent the contents of our bank account in a flash. We were good though, and walked home with only what we came for: organic apples. It's totally the season for apples now, and we decided to preserve some goodness for later, too, by drying apple slices. They are as nice as candy and a really healthy snack – very cheap, too.

There are three different ways to dry the apples that I know of; hanging them to dry in room-temperature, using the oven or using a food dryer. The oven is the least ecological choice, but it was the easiest one for us who don't have much space in our apartment. For comparison we also left some to dry in room temperature.

Dried apple chips
5 big organic apples
organic lemon juice
(sugar and cinnamon)

Prepare a bowl of water and add lemon juice, one tablespoon per 100ml water. This will keep the apples from turning brown. I added a little bit of cinnamon and some sugar, because the apples were quite sour. Wash the apples and remove the cores with a core remover or a knife (be careful!). Slice the apples into thin rings, about 2-5 millimeter thick, if you can. Plop them in the water as you go.

If you hang your apples to dry using string, pat them dry first and then hang them slightly apart. Hang them on a clothesline or clothes rack, for example. This will take a few days. You can also leave apple slices to dry lying flat on baking paper, but I'm sure this is even slower. When using an oven, line up the apple slices in rows on multiple baking trays and fill the oven as much as you can. Heat the oven to 50°C, and if your oven isn't a convection oven (fan oven), you should keep the oven door open from time to time. Rotate the trays every few hours, the top one will dry quickest. This took about 6 hours in our oven, times may vary.

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