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.It 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.
That’s quite simple, innovative and unique chips! Never thought of apple chips before! Healthy snacking indeed…
Anything called “chips” is going to be popular with my kids (not that apples take much selling!). Beet chips! Kale chips! Sweet potato chips! Crispy is hard to resist. :)
That’s simple and innovative chips. Never thought of apple chips..healthy snacking indeed.
Thanks so much for these directions. I don’t have a dehydrator so I’m glad to hear how this can be done in the oven.
I’ve been making fruit leather in the oven too, and now I’m thinking about what else I could hack! :)
Thank you! I have a ton of apples in my refrigerator and was wondering what to do with them all today. This is GREAT!
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! :)
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!
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!
We apple pick in VT every Aug and always come home with way too many apples. This recipe is going in my to-do folder!
What does “too many apples” mean? No such thing! :)
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!
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! :)
Now why have I never thought of this?!
Nom nom nom!!!! These look amazing, Emmy. Thank you :D
I’m into drying everything at the moment (thanks to a new dehydrator) and I’m sure I’ll be getting to apples very soon! Yum!
I think I’m going to have to invest at some point–but a real blender comes first! :)
Gotta have priorities!
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 …
Well, your location has other advantages. I hear it’s been lovely this week! :)
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?
Now I wonder too! :)
Yum! For some odd reason my picky one isn’t really an apple fan (how is this possible) but a little crisp might do it. Thanks!
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?! :)
I am totally with you. People who don’t like apples and chocolate can clearly not be trusted.
Awesome idea, Emmy! And good to know that I can make them without a fancy food dehydrator!