Thursday, 13 June 2013

she put an apple in my eye

(Oasis - Waiting for the Rapture)

I recently had a courgette crisp disaster. Not one to be easily deterred, actually that’s piffle, I am incredibly easily deterred. However the support and encouragement of some fellow bloggers, thank-you Joanne and Gemma, ensured I didn’t give up at the first failure.

Whilst searching for the courgette recipe, I came across a few recipes for apple crisps. Glancing at the fruit bowl, it occurred to me that it would be useful to bookmark one for use in the (very) near future. So today, with an imminent fruit box delivery, and a day of working at home ahead of me (which invariably means repeatedly roaming around the kitchen looking for snacks), I thought it was a good idea to have a second attempt.

I tried to use the side of the box grater as a mandolin again, but with much less success, so an old-fashion knife and chopping board it was. I think I got a little carried away, as before I knew it the fruit bowl was empty. A knife was fairly inefficient though, I ended up with fewer slices, and a fair amount of waste where slices split through trying to get them thinner. I’ll be adding a mandolin to the shopping list soon no doubt.

Following fifteen spatulas recipe, I sprinkled the slices with cinnamon sugar (although I used a lot more cinnamon). This was the point where the courgette catastrophe became a little more understandable. I realised I had set my oven to the given temperature, which would be fine except mine is Celsius, and the recipe was in Fahrenheit. A rookie mistake, admittedly, but it made me a feel a little better about the fact that the courgettes had frazzled despite me conscientiously checking them and turning them every ten minutes.

So there would be no such amateurishness today. Oven set to the right temperature, the sliced apples went in for an hour. I kept peeping in and prodding them. Luckily the recipe was so clear, I didn’t panic that they stayed soggy. After an hour I flipped them, cautiously optimistic at the curled crispy edges. After another hour I should have turned them off. Reeling from my recent disaster, rebelling against the recipe that was serving me so well seemed foolish. But comparing my thick uneven slices with the dainty and delicate ones in the post, I thought mine would need a little longer. So I threw caution to the wind (this is as insubordinate as I get) and left them in for another half an hour.

They were still soft, but I knew that was ok, because the recipe told me so. They cooled in the oven for another hour (although I kept opening the door and taking ‘testers’). So confession number one, I wasn’t really sure what the ‘right’ texture was. I was expecting them to be crunchy, which they weren’t. So at first I thought I still hadn’t quite cracked the crisp. These reminded me of dried apple rings, and then I suddenly thought, perhaps that’s what they were supposed to be like. They were chewy and had a really good flavour. The cinnamon sugar wouldn’t be necessary but I enjoyed the addition.

Would I make these again? I’m not sure. The recipe was perfect (which is why I haven’t re-written it as it would actually be an exact copy), and required minimal effort. It used up the mountain of apples (admittedly with what felt like a bit of waste – but that was probably more my technique), and they were a healthy snack. As my fruit bowl suggests, I don’t tend to eat apples whole, so it was a good way to use them and enjoy them. My only thought, this isn’t a snack you make when you want a snack. Here’s the second confession - in the three and half hours they were in the oven (after fifteen minutes prep), I had succumbed to tea and biscuits instead. If I have a glut of apples in future I would definitely make some to have with oatmeal, or to take with lunch. But if I’m feeling a bit peckish and want something healthy, in future I’ll just eat the apple whole.

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