It's hard to imagine a more sensory loaded experience than Autumn.
(except maybe an all boys sleepover birthday party. Just speculating).
Some of you may recall our trip to the apple orchard last year for our September birthday boy.
A brilliant day in the outdoors with lots of gorgeous, crunchy apples just begging to be played with. Pies,
purées, muffins and loaves, so many possibilities for transformation...
This year I wanted to try apple chips!
My first time making them and a happy experiment indeed. You will not need a dehydrator for these apple chips. Just your oven and a few spices if you wish (you can also leave them plain - equally delicious).
I highly recommend the use of a mandoline for slicing. You can do it by hand but unless you have the dexterity of a brain surgeon, it's a bit of a trick trying to get the slices paper thin.
You can get a hand-held mandoline for about $20. In my view, it's well worth it. I use mine quite often and find it extraordinary helpful. Not only will it make your job easier, you will accomplish the task in a fraction of the time. I created a tray full of apple slices in less than a minute!
Oven-Baked Cinnamon Nutmeg Apple Chips
2 or 3 gorgeous, juicy, crunchy apples of choice (I used McIntosh)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg, (if you've never tasted a fresh grated nutmeg seed - it's a must try...)
1/8 tsp allspice
Heat oven to 225 F.
Using a mandoline (preferred) or a sharp knife, slice washed apples as thin as possible. Discard seeds if you like (I find them fairly innocuous).
Place sliced apples on a parchment covered baking sheet (or two baking sheets if needed), trying to separate them out as much as possible (if they overlap, they will not crisp up as well).
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine: cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg and allspice. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over apples and place the tray on the upper rack of the oven for about 1 hour. Remove tray from oven and carefully flip apples. Sprinkle with remaining spice mixture or leave plain, as desired. Return tray to oven for another hour or until the apples look gently browned and are beginning to curl around the edges.
I flavoured one side of the apples with spices
and left the other side plain - the pictures show the plain side
Remove tray from oven and allow apple chips to cool slightly before enjoying.
We found most of the apples curled and crisped nicely. But not all. A few of them were on the chewier side but these too were tasty - like a healthier version of apple/fruit leather.
You might also enjoy last year's creation, maple-ginger pumpkin purée over apples: