January 3, 2011

not quite Ann McIver's apple chips

I've made about 4 batches of this over the past few weeks-- easy to do even if you have a 7 month old baby and guests and a bunch of other stuff you should be doing. It's based on an old recipe for apple "chips" that my Grandmother's friend would make every year and there always seemed to be a jar of it in the refrigerator. I can't say I ever really liked it much as a kid, it was a bit sweet and heavy on the spice (cinnamon and cloves), but since I've got 330 pounds of fuji apples lounging on my back porch, waiting to go mushy and moldy, I thought I'd give it a try anyway.

I cut down on the sugar (the original calls for equal weight sugar and apples) and cut out the spices, wanting the pure apple flavor to shine through. Get out a big pasta pot (not huge but not medium sized-- the one you would choose when you're making pasta for 4 people or so). Put in a kilo or so (2.2 pounds) of sugar-- don't worry about being too exact-- I've done it with twice as much sugar and it works fine. Then start peeling and cutting up your apples into thin-sliced "chips". Keep slicing until the pot is full. The sugar will melt and the apples may turn a bit golden-brown. This is fine. Leave it overnight and the next day cook it over low heat until it reaches a honey-like consistency, maybe 3 or 4 hours. Add lemon juice (I use citric acid since I happen to have it and don't have lemons) to taste. Then ladle while still hot into jars and boil in a water bath for 15 minutes or so to seal.

For some reason the apples retain their shape and a bit of their texture, so they're not mushy like canned apples. Goes great spooned onto toast or stirred into yogurt along with a little bit of the "honey".

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