Autumn’s Apple Aroma

mn-blog-09-12-16

Mmm…it’s that first-of-the-fall, warm apple-pie-baking fragrance that has been wafting from my food lab for a few hours. I love it! Here, take a whiff, Dear Readers. Do you love it too?

The scent didn’t come from the spritz of a room freshener, potpourri, or a softly glowing autumnal candle. I didn’t even need to have flour, shortening, and water in my midst. The scent was au naturel from beautiful colorful pomaceous apples.

Enter the country of Kazakhstan. According to history.com, the habitat of this central Asian country located northwest of China was perfect for producing the at-that-time somewhat bitter-tasting fruit. However, this was millions-of-years-ago.

Apple seeds and cuttings “packed their bags” and traveled to Europe and eventually to America where a sweeter-tasting apple was painstakingly bred and produced for the taste buds of mankind.

Man became so hooked on its sweet almost-sensual flavor that it is now the second favorite choice of a diet’s fruit folder. What is number one in this category? The banana.

Put on your thinking caps, Dear Readers. Guess the average number of pounds of apples you or I or our neighbors far and near eat per year. Is it 50 pounds? Is it half that much? Is it zero in your diet?

Count all of your fingers and toes, and that number would be very close to the correct answer of 19 pounds.

Dear Readers, for those of you who refrain from apple eating, have you heard of the benefit of apple consumption? Perhaps you have. But just in case that information has slipped your mind, Miss NiNi is refreshing your memory.

Apples are so good for each of us because they are low in calories. Miss NiNi is for that!

And get this—there is freedom when eating an apple! Yes, that’s right! Freedom of fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

Apples even put on the boxing gloves of good nutrition while fighting for the well-being of our bodies. They are rich in fiber, disease-fighting anti-oxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. I want apples in my “corner of the ring.” Don’t you?

Now, let’s get back to that wonderful apple fragrance wafting from my food lab, shall we? My food lab’s perfume occurred simply by thinly slicing apples, placing them on a baking sheet, and drying them in a 225-degree oven.

The original recipe courtesy of cookiesandcups.com included an optional yummy sugar and cinnamon dredging mixture that Miss NiNi “Miss NiNi-ized” to obtain an even more substantial fall-flavor appeal.

Gala apples were the number one recommended variety of apple to use. However, other tart baking apples can be used. Do refrain from using a Red Delicious apple though as it has been developed primarily as an eating apple and not a baking apple.

Miss NiNi has previously purchased dried apples before only to have been disappointed with their bland, where-is-the-apple flavor and shoe-leather-like texture. Have you had that experience, too, Dear Readers?

The product from this recipe is an apple of another color, so to speak! The taste and texture were as exceptional to my yearning taste buds as the inviting fragrance was to my wondering nose. And there is not a speck of preservative or drying agent used!

The baked apple chips are a treat that needs to become a staple in Miss NiNi’s snacking pantry. Why? Because I cannot stop eating them!

Miss NiNi

Miss NiNi’s Baked Apple Chips

adapted from www.cookiesandcups.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 Gala apples, washed and dried
  • 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. apple pie spice

Method:

Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (This is a requirement—not an option.). Using a mandolin slicer set to the thickness of 1/8 inch. Slice apples evenly. (Or use a sharp heavy knife and slice apples evenly) In a small-medium-size bowl, mix together sugars and spices. Lightly dredge both sides of apple slices with this mixture. Lay apple slices on to lined baking sheet. They can overlap slightly. Bake at least 45 minutes. Flip apple slices over and bake for at least another 45 minutes until lightly browned and crisp. Remove pan from oven and allow apple chips to cool on the pan.

Dredging apples in sugar/spice mixture is optional.

Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, and Granny Smith Apples also work well.