One-Ingredient Oven Baked Apple Chips

Each summer, I fill my freezer and pantry shelves with jam and pickles and applesauce and roasted tomatoes and pesto and all the tastes of summer that I think I’ll need to make it through the Seattle winter.  And each year, right about this time, I either start wondering where it all went or wondering how we’re ever going to get through it all.  This year it’s the latter.

So here we are: the chickens are laying again, green rows are peeking up in the garden, and although even the rhubarb is a few weeks off, all signs indicate that spring will come again.  Which means that it’s time to be working through our winter stores.One-Ingredient Baked Apple ChipsIt was in that spirit that I hauled the last of our apple harvest out from the back of the fridge today.  Last fall we borrowed two dehydrators from a friend and dried a few gallons of apples that lasted, oh, right until whenever the girls found them.  They loved them.  So today when the counter was piled high with apples and I started talking sauce, an intense lobbying campaign was launched from around the height of my bellybutton.  Who could resist?

Although the dehydrator is surely more energy efficient, it turns out that respectable apple chips are easy to come by if you have an apple, an oven, and a cookie sheet.  I’m calling these “chips” because even my oven’s lowest setting (170 F) is quite a bit higher than a dehydrator, and by the time the apples have dried and cooled they crisp up delightfully.  If you want to sweeten or dress these up, Alana and Hannah recommend a little lemon and maple syrup with cinnamon, and I trust them implicitly.

While you’re at it, fill as many trays as you can fit in your oven, of course.  I could fit about 2 medium apples on each tray and three trays at a time in the oven.  Each batch took about 4 hours, so this isn’t exactly a high-volume endeavor.  But you’ll end up with enough to delight your children (or yourself!) for the few minutes that they last.

Baked Apple Chips: Heat your oven to its lowest temperature, hopefully between 170 and 200 F.  Core an apple and slice it crosswise.  I used the medium blade on my cheap mandoline, but your food processor or a steady hand will do the trick just as well.  I’d aim for about 1/8″ of an inch or a little thicker.  Spread the slices shoulder to shoulder on a baking sheet.  (I lined mine with parchment for one batch and used the sheet unlined for another batch and both were fine, but my apples were fairly dry and if yours are juicy you might do better with the parchment paper.)

Bake the apple rings for 2 hours, then remove the trays from the oven and flip the apples.  If they are still quite pliable, set the timer for another hour (although they may take quite a bit longer; or they may be ready in less than an hour if they are already quite dry).  To tell whether the rings are dry enough for storage, tear one in half and squeeze near the cut edge.  If liquid oozes out, it needs more time.  When the apples are dry (or nearly so), remove them from the oven.  They will crisp up as they cool.

If you can keep these for longer than a day, store them in a sealed container; they’ll soften from crisp to leathery and keep like any dried fruit.

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27 thoughts on “One-Ingredient Oven Baked Apple Chips

    1. emmycooks Post author

      These were great but maybe not the more efficient way to process a lot of apples, since you probably can’t fit more than 10 at a time in your oven, if that. Nothing beats applesauce for making apples smaller! :)

      Reply
  1. Sarah @ The Cook's Life

    We are always looking for new ways to eat the few fruits and veggies my son eats. And apples are on the list. Thank you for posting! We are doing sweet potato chips today, might just have to make some apple chips too!

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      I love sweet potato chips. And beet and radish and turnip and any-kind-of-green chips. Am I missing any of your favorites? A new vegetable presentation is always popular around here, too!

      Reply
  2. Maria

    I love simple and kid (and adult) friendly recipes! My family would love these. Thanks for sharing! And wow – I’m impressed with your winter food storage!

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      That’s nice of you to say you’re impressed but really all I’m doing is coping with my unchecked purchasing (or growing or accepting fruit from a friend’s tree, etc.)–I am powerless to resist the lure of glorious fruits and vegetables! :)

      Reply
  3. Hannah

    Thanks for the shout out Emmy – and now I can’t wait to try them “naked”! ;). My kids eat through them the second they’re out of the oven – maybe next fall I’ll try a dehydrator to make a bigger batch. We are all out of apples here (the ones at the store are from Washington of course!) but soon enough I suppose they’ll be back …

    Reply
  4. kristina

    I love apple chips. I thought it would be a lot of hassle to make them without a dehydrator but this proves me wrong. I wonder if pear chips would work too?

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      What?! Although my oldest daughter doesn’t like chocolate, which proves definitively that food preferences are not hereditary. These might prove more acceptable than a fresh apple since the taste and texture are both altered–or maybe not. Who knows what people who dislike apples and chocolate are thinking?! :)

      Reply

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