Apple rings

I truly appreciate my kitchen garden and little orchard. In a week that I have found frustrating and mind boogling on a parenting issue, the simple act of collecting apples and preparing them for later consumption, has felt so good. It is grounding and just what I need.

I have pureed apples along with making crumbles and pies to top up the freezer. I also rediscovered how easy it is to make dried apple rings in the bottom oven of my Aga. I used the eaters from our Scrumptious tree. After peeling, coring and thinly slicing, I sprinkled them with a light covering of cinnamon. Then I arranged them on a silicone baking sheet or hung them from wooden skewers.

The oven gives a low, constant heat that dries them to perfection. I use the same part of the oven to dry my meringues. The apples take about 2 to 3 hours to reach the crisp stage.

I’m sure a squeeze of lemon or dehydrator would leave the apple rings a paler colour, but there were no complaints in our household. The first jar disappeared very quickly. They loved their fruity crisps. I loved that I added no fat or sugar. Just a sprinkle of cinnamon. In the past I have found that they have a shelf life of a few months, but I will be lucky to keep any rings that long, now that the children are able to help themselves.

Apart from my orchard, the children keep me grounded. Their antics, and problem solving in this case, keep me focused. Inspired by our holiday in a thatch cottage, they decided to thatch one of the hen houses. No straw to hand, so they collected grass and rose petals. May other influences be kept at bay, so that their childhood can last …. oh just a bit longer. So many influences that want to turn them into little adults before their time. I know that there is a fine balance between wrapping them in cotton wool and giving into professional advice (read unwanted and misguided advice).

My frustration this week has been finding that balance. If this wasn’t my happy place, I would be ranting and raving, naming names, but this is my happy place so I’ll just say that I found the balance. The trick will be keeping that balance level. Any one got a parenting spirit level? No? Ok, I’ll just make a few more batches of apple rings then.

18 thoughts on “Apple rings

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 1:04 am
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    How lovely to have so many apples to do all those wonderful apply things with. 🙂 Parenting is such a tricky business, especially as children get older. I’m sure you will find that balance.

    Anne xx

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 1:14 am
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      Thanks Anne. I hope I do too.

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 1:24 am
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    Would you look at those apple rings!!! And I love the thatching!!! Hope you have a better week this week… parenting is not for the fainthearted I guess!!!

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 3:51 pm
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      No, you’re right about it not being for the fainthearted. There is so much to enjoy about parenthood, that these momentary blips can be handled. Can’t let it get me down with apple rings and apprentice thatchers in my midst!

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 1:30 am
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    I know how you feel – the world wants our children to grow up so fast. It sounds like you are doing a good job keeping them young and fueling their imaginations. Stay strong! I just love the thatched hen house. And those apple rings sound wonderful – what a great snack.

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 3:48 pm
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      Thanks Casey. It is so good to know that I am not alone. It seems like it is becoming the norm to think of children as grownups – just not as tall. I’m all for them enjoying their childhoods. The rest will wait!

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 1:53 am
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    Sometimes it is very hard to let children be children when it seems like the rest of the World thinks it knows better. But I’d say you go with whatever you feel is right and they can get stuffed .
    They are children..our children …and they’ll grow up soon enough. I believe allowing them to be children gives them a better chance of growing up to be sound well balanced adults and pretending they are small grown ups does them no favours.
    Sorry off soap box (all power to your elbow ..so to speak)

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 3:43 pm
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      Oh Val, as ever, you have brought a smile to my face. I hate that everywhere I turn seems to want them to grow up that bit faster. Whether its the media, retail or friends. Bit much when it is school. You can get on your soap box anytime. I love hearing from you.

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 2:54 am
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    Loving those apple rings. Now I have something new to do with the apples we get when we go picking! Have to plan another trip soon. Good luck with the balance. I struggle with that myself and my girls are only 2 1/2 and eight months!

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 3:37 pm
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      They taste like concentrated apples. The girls cannot decide if they prefer the slightly chewy ones or the crispier type. Or is that an excuse for trying just one more!

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 9:19 am
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    I keep meaning to try something like fruit leather because we’ve got a few apples kicking about the place; have you ever tried that? The rings look delightful, by the way.

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 3:23 pm
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      I’ve not made fruit leather. I may try that next if I can work out a way to seperate it easily from the container. I made quince cheese once, and it was messy separating it out. In the end I rolled it in icing sugar to make a turkish delight kind of sweet. Probably defeats the object if I covered fruit leather in sugar.

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 1:00 pm
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    Love the apple rings and will definitely give it a go.

    As for advice… my system has always been to take the stuff I liked the idea of and ignore all the rest.

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 3:19 pm
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      Thanks Dawn. I think that is darn good advice, so I’ll be taking it!

  • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 8:14 pm
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    The apple rings look delicious, apple and cinnamon is one of my favourite combinations. As for the parenting, YOU know what is right for YOUR children and I’d follow Dawns’ advice.

    • Monday 27 September, 2010 at 9:35 pm
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      I love the apple and cinnamon combination, too. I buy cinnamon in large quantities at this time of year.

      And you are right Sue, I do know my children best. I’m trusting my own judgement.

  • Tuesday 16 September, 2014 at 8:27 am
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    Hello, I will try and make apple rings today! What a great idea to put them on skewers. I have seen somewhere else on internet that rings had to be left in the bottom part of the aga for 10 to 12 hours. But you say 3 (which would be easier for me)!!! So 3 is enough?
    Thank you

    • Tuesday 16 September, 2014 at 9:38 am
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      It really depends on your Aga, how thin you slice the apples and the juice content. Also, with this method, the surface area exposed to the heat is maximized, which helps to dry it faster. If I had left mine for 10 hours, I suspect they would have spoilt and been less appetizing. I suggest that you check every hour or half an hour. So long as the moisture has gone, they will store for longer. Good luck.

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