Drying Apples Firsties (Baked Apple Chips)

It still counts as a First if I perfect my methods over the course of a few days, right? 

So, again I was reading about dehydrating without an actual dehydrator, and read that it can be done with regular fans, oven on warm, sunny window sill… none of this worked for me. 

I tried these options with both apples and citrus. My grapefruit, oranges and lemons turned out mushy with juicy insides that were sure to mold if I were to use them in a sachet or stored for any extended amount of time, so I had to throw them out. The apples took forever too and were just gross. 

Back to the books, and browsing! I ran into a friend who happened to bake apple chips the same day as me (crazy? Crazy.) and had better success than me, so I took some of her tips for my next attempt.

I had been cutting apples with a knife. For dehydrating, slices of anything need to be quite thin, so I cut as thin as I could but a few flesh wounds later (and I have a pretty good track record with knives), they were still a little too thick. My friend said she made her chips like this (with a few twists from other things I tried):

You will need:
-A Mandoline slicer
(If you're like me, you may have one and not know it until your friend shows you a picture!)

-2-4 green or more crispy, tart apples (this provides a few batches, but not a ton, which is great for beginners who are also slight perfectionists like me!)
-cookie sheet
-cooling rack
-oven (and timer)
Optional, Yet Recommended:
-apple juice
-lemon juice (this helps keep apples from browning)
-2-4 tspcinnamon (good for eating or just potpourri)
-a tiny pinch of nutmeg (I didn’t have it, but if I did, I’d use it!)
-containers (for sliced apples)
-apple corer (or tiny lid of about the same circumference)

I didn’t core the apples before I cut them because that would make them collapse easier under the force of fine slicing.

Preheat your oven. While at college, I’ve learned that altitude makes a big difference with your stove and oven. I don’t remember ever burning anything growing up, then I moved 5 hours northeast of home and burned almost everything I attempted to cook! I’m thinking that is why the air drying or oven-on-warm method worked for other bloggers and not me. So, according to my altitude, (elevation, 4,865 ft) THIS is how to succeed:
Preheat to 250-275 degrees Farenheit.

Now, after removing the stickers and washing thoroughly, of course, slice them apples, every last one.
Next, we take care of the cores, but prepare a container to soak your apples as you core them. You have two options for how to do this:
Option 1:
Fill a container with a few cups of water and a few tsp lemon juice (Lemon juice helps keep apples from browning- I’m not sure how big a difference it makes since the oven turns your apples golden anyway)
Option 2:
Fill container with a few cups of apple juice. This is mainly for apple chips that you intend to eat, as the juice is sugary and could possibly cause them not to last as long if you plan to preserve them.
I tried each to see what I liked better and haven’t found much difference so far except that soaking in apple juice causes the juice to taste like fruit leather, very sweet and yummy, though not as natural in taste.
soak for 10-25 minutes
Back to coring our apples!
I don't have a corer but I had a tiny lemon oil lid about the right size. you don't need to core every slice, just the tougher parts that already begin to look brown as you approach them after slicing. I love the look of the slices that don't require coring, they look like little flowers! Here are some slices that were cored and one that didn't require it:
They're pretty both ways :)
To be clear, you should toss your slices in to soak as you core them, then soak while you prepare cookie sheet and rack and 
If you're going to add cinnamon or a mixture of that, nutmeg, and sugar, now is the time to prepare this in a bowl, and rub it on each apple slice as you place evenly on a cookie sheet. 
Ready to pop these babies in the oven!
Stick the handle of a wooden spoon between the oven and it's door for some air circulation. 
set the timer for 18-20 minutes and flip slices over, replace in oven with wooden spoon prop, and bake for another 18-20 minutes and repeat as you see slices golden and curl around edges until brown and woodlike, but not burnt! Here are some more pictures!

Filters weren't my friends while trying to capture the proper, beautiful color of these apples, but here is the finished product! Ready to munch or save in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the freezer until you're ready to put out for potpourri!

Next we'll discover how to win with citrus!
Aubree Out!

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! We only got a few from our apple tree and I think dehydrating them might be a great way to use them!