Saturday, October 17, 2009

Apple Chips

I went a little nuts this year. I told my apple orchard friend that I would like 3-4 bushels of apples for making applesauce. He gave me close to four bushels. What was I thinking?! After having made about forty quarts of apple sauce, I decided that I might want to make something else with the remaining apples.

I love the apple chips that I have gotten from the stores -- the very expensive apple chips. So why not make those? And guess what? They are easy!

I borrowed a cast iron apple peeler/corer/slicer. This tool slices the apples to the perfect thickness - about 1/8 inch --, but you could do that by hand. You don't have to peel or core the apple. Just slice the apple into 1/8in thick slices and pop the seeds out. If you use the peeler/corer/slicer, disengage the peeler. The apple will be sliced in a spiral with this tool, so line up your knife with the spiral end and slice through one side of the apple. This will leave you circles instead of a spiral.

If you want them flavored: mix 4TBS brown sugar, 1/2 - 1TBS cinnamon, and 1/8-1/4 cup water. Dip the slices in the mixture, shake them off and lay them in a single layer on a dehydrator* tray sprayed with Pam. IMPORTANT: If you do not Pam the tray, you will not be able to get the chips off the tray! I learned this the hard way and lost half my first batch.

Let them dehydrate about 18-24 hours. They may feel a little pliant when you remove them, but once they cool they should be as crispy as a potato chip.

These are addictive, but as healthy as they are, that's just fine. You should be able to store these as long as any other dried fruit, but you probably won't have to worry about storage times as they won't stick around long!

*If you do not have a dehydrator, you can do this in the oven. I didn't do any batches in the oven, so I'm not sure the best way to do that, but I hear a SilPat is indispensable. I don't have one, so I would line my cookie sheets with my cooling racks, Pam those and lay the apple slices on that. If I ever try the oven, I will update this post with directions.

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