Luckily a pair of fawns (baby deer) came to visit us one day, lingering around the apple trees. They were so playful, bold, and innocent of all danger. One came so close I could nearly touch her. Oh! They are so friendly & cute! When they bounced away they showed off their white tails.
I grew up never seeing an apple tree, and had certainly not picked an apple from a tree, let alone bit into one without washing it. I was impressed. The next thing I learnt was that our neighbours don’t care much about apple trees. Every year the apples came and went, falling to the ground for the animals to eat. Except for deer, porcupines, bears, squirrels & chipmunks nobody paid any attention. I was happy to join the animals' team. So I would pick an apple and eat it - so juicy and sour! Here are some photos of the creatures I share them with. A wise owl also came to see what was going on.
I came up with the idea of slicing these apples and drying them - it was an instant success! People who tasted them were all hooked. These natural apples, from old fashioned varieties gone wild taste great without adding any sugar or salt. If you dry the apples to the point of almost burning them, they are crispy and sweet and so much better than potato chips.
If you are using an electric oven at around 200°F it takes more than 6, 7 hours. We use the oven in our wood stove at what we think is a higher temperature, like 300°F to start, but who knows since our temperature gauge is a bit wacky! You need to flip them often, especially at the beginning before they start to stick. Once they are dry, they are very easy to burn. By then we move them to the warming oven and it takes more than 12 hours to dry. If they are not totally dried they will be chewy instead of crisp - not a bad thing. They will taste great in cereal, salad and as garnish on other foods. You could throw some in your tea to have an apple flavored tea! Or eat them together with your tea as a snack.
All photos and text copyright of Mateasse Inc.