Dried apple rings
- 5-10 apples (red and green for a nice mix)
- Lemon juice
- Ground cinnamon and vanilla extract (optional)
These dried apple rings are incredibly simple to make and will keep for months in an airtight container. So if you have a bumper crop of windfall apples and need a break from crumbles, chutneys, jellies and juicing, try some of these instead. They’re a truly delicious healthy snack, which children will love to find in their lunchboxes, and a great way to make nutritious autumn apples last well into the winter. Try mixing eating and cooking apples for a delicious tangy taste!
- First wash your apples, then core them and cut away any bruised flesh. You may peel the apples too if you wish, but you will be missing out on a good source of fibre! Slice into even rings about 2.5mm thick – a mandolin is the perfect kitchen aid for this if you have one.
- Fill a large bowl with water, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and let the apple rings soak for 5 minutes to stop them discolouring. If you like, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla essence to your bowl of water along with the lemon juice – it adds a lovely subtle sweetness and smell to the fruit.
- Place your apple rings onto a clean tea towel and pat dry, then transfer them to baking trays lined with greaseproof paper making sure they don’t overlap. They will shrink considerably in the oven so feel free to line them up closely to one another. At this point you can sprinkle a little cinnamon powder onto the rings just before you place them in the oven for a hint of spice. If you have an Aga or similar range, place the trays into the coolest oven and leave for approximately 10-15 hours. Alternatively, for a speedier method with less oven time, bake for an hour at 90˚C/200˚F, then turn the slices over before returning to the oven for a further hour and a half. Finally, turn the oven off and leave the rings to cool inside the oven.
- The moisture content of each batch of apples and the thickness of the slices will affect drying time, so these timings are only approximate. If you prefer a very crispy apple ring, then you may need to increase the drying time. However, the above guidelines should be just about right for slightly chewy apple rings – our personal preference.
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- Apples contain great sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre, helping prevent the build up of cholesterol in the blood vessels and move food more quickly through the digestive system
- Apples are also a potent source of antioxidants that have been related to lowering the risk of asthma and lung cancer