Bake-Dried Apples

I went to a local grocery store a few days ago for lunch – they have a really good sushi bar! – and saw a bag of bake dried apples made by Bare Fruit in the checkout line. I was even more impressed when I picked up the bag and looked at the ingredients – Apples. Yes, that was the one – and only – ingredient. They suckered me in and I bought a bag, along with my Spicy Tuna and Spicy Salmon rolls – yum! I figured since apples were the only ingredient, that I could duplicate them at home. After some research, I combined a few techniques to come up with this recipe.

This post will also show you how to make a simple syrup. It’s pretty simple…ha! Get it? Ok, so simple syrups can be used to soak cakes, sweeten tea, and flavor cocktails among other things. You can also flavor it with anything! Spices, herbs, fresh ginger, etc. The simple syrup steps are completely optional for this recipe, however, I think it adds a nice touch of spice and sweetness. Once made, you can store your simple syrup in a bottle or other airtight container, and it will last for months.

You’ll need:

  • 3-4 apples, cored and sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Note – the simple syrup recipe makes more than you need for the apples, but I like to keep it on hand.
Place the water and sugar in a pot over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Voila! Simple syrup. You can see the lovely bits of cinnamon floating in the sweet, sugary syrup.
While that’s cooling, core and slice your apples. You could also just cut off each cheek of the apple around the core if you don’t have a coring tool. They don’t have to look perfect, because they’ll shrivel a bit while they cook.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place a rack on top of each. Dip your apples in the simple syrup and then place in one layer on the rack.
Bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees and then 30-60 more minutes at 250 degrees. But wait, they don’t look like they’re crunchy yet? They won’t until they start to cool. You can pull one out and let it sit for 2 minutes as a tester.
These will keep for a couple days in a sealed baggie or container, but after a few days, they won’t be as crunchy. These are a great, healthy snack and a welcome addition to anyone’s lunch box!
Buon appetito!

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