Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Apple Peel Twigs

I've been spending some time lately trying to conquer a few kitchen anxieties in an effort to become more proficient in my cooking skills.  Peeling things and pastry-making, specifically.  I'll address the pastry business if I manage to crack the code on that niggly awful process (which yields nearly 16 million google hits for good reason), but until then, peels!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm the laziest prep cook in existence and if there's a step in a recipe that even remotely seems like it doesn't need to be done, it's just not going to happen in the Trash Salad kitchen.  There's always a Law and Order SVU marathon on, you see, and that is always going to take precedence.  As a result of this cooking philosophy, I have peeled apples maybe twice in my life and really never had a problem with chunky applesauce or brown betties with an extra special texture to them.  But autumn is a time for productivity and personal challenge, and thus I decided to go the whole nine with desserts while also learning how to peel without looking like a thumbless orangutan.

Glory be, if I didn't discover the most outrageously delicious, easy to make, and healthy snack food item made from scraps in the process.  Apple peels, tossed with cinnamon sugar and dehydrated at low temperature.  So simple sounding, they have a light crunchiness with a sweet and spicy tart flavor that is impossibly addicting.  The entire batch was inhaled in less than 24 hours (by me).

Just toss them in the oven while you're waiting on your pie dough to transform from a chilled blob into magic unicorn crust that should flake to infinity.

Apple Peel Twigs

Adapted from Sassy Radish via MStew
Total time: 2.5 hours, active time 2 minutes

  • Peels from 6-8 apples
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Preheat oven to 250F/120C.  Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Toss apple peels with the spiced sugar, using a few drops of water if more moisture is needed to help the sugar stick.

Spread peels out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 2 hours, rotating halfway through until peels are curled and crisp.  Let cool in the oven for another 30 minutes to dry before serving.


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