I do it every year. I go a little overboard when we visit the apple orchard and I bring home way more fruit than is possible for our little family to eat – even if we’re each eating an apple a day.
So I’m always scouting for a new, fun and (always) easy ways to use up the apples. A few years ago, I discovered you can make apple chips just by cutting and slow-baking the apples. The baking brings out the natural sugar in the apple and they get a lovely crisp-chewy texture that’s way better than store-bought ones. The kids go crazy for ‘em.
Here’s how you do it. Round up your supplies: a few apples, a sharp knife (or if you’re lucky enough to own a mandolin, use that), cinnamon and sugar, parchment paper and a baking pan. You can use any type of apple, and a variety is even better. Today I used a Pink Lady and Granny Smith. One is slightly tart and the other nice and sweet. Together it’s bliss!
Preheat your oven to 200°F while you slice your apples. Be sure to cut horizontally (straight across the core of the apple) and remove the seeds as you go. Some “chips” will have a little star in the center where the seeds were. It’s so pretty!
Try to get the slices thin as you can, but know they don’t all have to be perfect! Layer them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. I find you typically need one sheet per apple, depending on the how thin you can get your slices. A few overlapping edges is okay, but don’t stack them too tightly or your chips won’t properly crisp.
You can throw them in the oven at this point, but I like to take one more step and add a little cinnamon-sugar mixture. You can use the pre-bought mix or quickly make your own (I like the ratio of ¼ cup white sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon). You could also do straight-up cinnamon, mix it with brown sugar instead of white, or even add ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the mix.
Sprinkle at least one side, if not both, generously with the mixture.
Now for the easy part: Throw your apples in the oven and do something else! These little guys bake low and slow for 2-3 hours—depending once again on thickness and your personal crispy-chewy preference. Then, turn off the oven and let your apples cool inside the oven for up to an hour more. Trust me, this gets them extra-crunchy.
Once they’ve cooled, enjoy! I keep the fruit chips in an airtight container or plastic food storage bag for mid-morning, mid-afternoon and even late-night snacking for up to 3 days—if there are any left by then!