This is one of those posts that’s for a recipe so simple I feel silly sharing it. But, then again, almost everyone I know loves apple chips and yet no one seems to make them so I thought that I would post in hopes of encouraging you to put aside whatever doubts you may have about the process and give it a try. They’re just THAT good. It’s true that this recipe should be saved for either a lazy day of lounging (in my case, always with a book) or a chore day where you will be about the place for a few hours. You’re not going to be baking the apple chips as much as dehydrating them – so yes, those of you with food dehydrators are welcome to feel smug here – and that takes time. Usually patience is something I struggle with in the kitchen, but I loved how the smell of sweet fruit and spice slowly filled every corner of my little apartment and it didn’t seem like much time at all until the chips were ready.
While the weather here in VT has taken a turn for the better – we’ve almost made it a full week without any rain! – the month of July has so far been riddled with problems to the point where I feel nearly as stressed as I did while employed. Well, trouble always does seem to come in groups for me… and I have three cookbooks sprouting tagged recipes just begging to be made. I’m hoping to squeeze a few in before jetting off to the West Coast for a family reunion and escaping my most recent stresses for at least a week. I haven’t seen my dad’s side of the family in years and there’s nothing I want more right now than to chill in a folding chair in Halfway Oregon (called “Halfway” because it is literally halfway to nowhere) and drink Dr. Pepper with my country-clan. New England angst can get a bit too much sometimes, even for me.
Although I don’t think I could ever go as far as to call myself a “country girl” – hippie, yes, but that’s different as I’m sure both sides would agree – I used to ride and jump horses for a good ten years and feel automatically at home around a farm. My uncle’s cattle ranch was always a fun place to visit and since my family could only afford to fly out every 5 to 8 years or so even being a small place it never lost its appeal. A great BBQ is a given at one of these gatherings and one year we ate giant elk steaks thanks to a relative’s successful hunting expedition. If we were lucky, my uncle would let us ride his grumpy horses. I remember my dad and I were the only ones brave enough to canter them around the large rocky field one year. My cousins also had a trampoline – something my parents insisted was too dangerous for me and my siblings back home (…so they let me jump a thousand-pound animal but I couldn’t bounce on a trampoline? I just realized how nutty that was, haha) – and even as teenagers we milked that rusty thing for all its worth, bouncing on it with the toddlers in the group.
Because of school and my trip to Japan, I haven’t been back West for almost 10 years now. I know the horses aren’t around anymore (bummer) and I hope the trampoline has long since been retired, but yes…a folding chair, ice cold Dr. Pepper, and a hot country breeze would be fantastic right about now.
(makes 1 bowl of chips, good for 2 to share or one to scarf)
2 apples of your choice
8 T cinnamon
4 T sugar, if desired
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Using a mandolin, if available, or a very sharp knife slice whole apples as thin as possible. I sliced them lengthwise and picked out the seeds and tougher bits of flesh as I went, but – I didn’t think of it til after – if you slice the apples from the bottom up you can get a lovely star shape in the centers of each slice. If you’re one for aesthetics give it a try and see how it goes.
- Spread slices in a single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheets and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and sugar (if using). Place the chips in the oven and do some household chores for 1 hour. Here, if your oven’s like mine and has uneven zones, you might want to swap and rotate the baking sheets halfway through.
- After 1 hour, remove chips from the oven, flip them all, sprinkle on the remaining desired toppings, and return to the oven for an additional hour or until lightly browned, curled, and crisp.
- When ready, remove chips from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes before serving (or they all will seem chewy with the heat).
This is my first time ever making apple chips, although I’ve always wanted to since inhaling an over-priced bag of them a few years back. I knew I’d need a mandolin, since my knife skills – and my knives, let’s face it – aren’t the best so I had to wait until I could get my hands on one. After the cooking time the chips were pleasantly curled and, despite my fear that they would still be chewy, all but the largest slices were as crunchy and yummy as the expensive store-bought chips – success! The largest slices could have gone another half hour in the oven, but that’s an easy fix for next time.
As for the winning apple? It’s a split: I was surprised I preferred the Pink Lady chips with just cinnamon, but Brad liked the Granny Smiths with both cinnamon and sugar. There are many more varieties easily available here and I’ll have to keep experimenting. Start with your favorite snack apple and topping and tell me what you think! Oh, and here’s a thought: for a real VT-flavor try dusting the chips with granulated maple sugar…mmmmm…
Overall Enjoyment: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥