when the apples came tumbling down from the trees at the abode of the mister's parents, we were gifted a winter storage box stuffed with the bounty. we've done our fair share eating the apples, baking the apples, and such, but i thought of one more way to enjoy the apples: sapin de Noël ornaments.
some of the apples looked a bit... tired. they werent over the hill totally, but well on their way. i didnt want to waste the buggers, so i peeled and chopped them, sprinkled on some lemon juice, boiled them in water until soft enough to squash, and made applesauce.
i added an entire bottle of cinnamon to about 3/4ish cup of applesauce, as well as some nutmeg and cloves, and made a dough. i pressed it with baking paper and let it hang out in the fridge for a short while. this dough is a bit persnickety to work with, and making it cold helps. a lot.
from there, i just used my cookie cutters and made stars. lots and lots of stars. when the dough started to rebel, i stuck it back in the fridge.
the stars were baked at 100C for nearly 3 hours.
and what better way to hang the apple ornaments? why, with orange slices! this process is unquestionably easy: thinly slice an orange or two. line a baking pan. turn the oven on low (100C/200F). sprinkle the orange slices with spices. bake for 4 hours (wait for the slices to slowly dry out. they'll become hard and shrink quite a lot once all the moisture is out). and they smell ah-may-zing.
and the melding of the spices, apple, and orange smells? a bouquet of winter. next year i am considering making wreaths with these.