So I'm a little late, posting on Tuesday. But I did make these on Sunday, so it averages out to Monday, right? :)
I saw apple chips on Pinterest and instantly became obsessed with the promise of crispy, crunchy, cinnamon-y apple goodness.
If you do a web search for "Apple Chip Recipes", you'll be met with pages of suggestions, but it looked like it basically boiled down to two different methods and two different suggested temperatures.
I spent the weekend testing them out and finding my favorite. Here's the steps, and options, if you'd like to give it a try (it's really not hard, and so worth it!)
1. Option One: Your Apple
You could try absolutely any variety. The normal "baking" apple rules don't apply, since they will all turn crispy during the process. I tried Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Braeburn.
Granny Smith was my favorite, hands down.
2. Option Two: The Prep
You next have the option of peeling and coring your apples first, or just leaving them whole and slicing. I tried both ways and it was quickly apparent that peeling and coring was a waste of time. Once they are dried and crispy, the peel and core bits just blend in with the rest of the crunch - texturally, I didn't notice them at all. You do need to pop out the seeds, but I found they mostly fell out by themselves during baking.
3. Next, slice your apples as thinly as possible. I used my nifty "as-seen-on-TV" mandolin slicer, which did the job lickety-split!
4. Here's your next option, according to the two popular methods: soaking your slices in a simple syrup, or tossing with sugar & cinnamon, or leaving plain of course...
I did try the simple syrup, which you can make to various proportions. I made it kind of light - 1 cup water to 1/2 cup sugar (this was for one apple). Recipes suggested soaking your slices at least 1/2 hour up to overnight. I soaked mine somewhere around 2-3 hours. When it was all said and done, to me there was no difference from the slices simply tossed in sugar, so again, this seemed like another waste of time...
I decided all my experiments from then on would just involve tossing the apples in my desired mixture of sugar and flavor.
plain with cinnamon sprinkled on top
plain with pumpkin spices sprinkled on top
tossed with sugar only
tossed with sugar and cinnamon
tossed with sugar and pumpkin spice
When I saw the pumpkin spice in my cabinet I thought it was truly an inspired idea. But it wasn't that good - I liked the regular cinnamon much better.
My favorite flavor was the sugar and cinnamon mixture, and simple plain the runner-up.
You could mix your cinnamon and sugar to any proportion. I played with the amounts on several different batches, and my favorite ended up being 1 Tbs sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (per apple).
5. Lay your apple slices in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheets.
6. Last option - Temperature
Half the recipes I looked at recommended baking at the lowest your over can go, generally 175 F. The other half recommended 250 F. I tried it at 250 degrees twice, but both times I couldn't get them to turn crispy before burning.
So 175 it was for me! At this temperature, it took nearly 4 hours for my apple slices to turn crispy. (There's a huge range between 175 and 250, so it seems likely that with a little experimentation, there's a better temperature for speeding up the process without burning.) I would recommend letting them go for about 2 hours, then checking on them at 30 minute intervals. Even when they are done, they will appear rubbery when warm. So to test them, pull a chip off your baking sheet and let it cool completely (about 1-2 minutes). If it's still a little chewy, let them go a little longer. If they're delightfully crunchy, well you'll know, and then it's up to you to resist devouring every last one!
The only downside is that they do take quite a long time to bake. But it just means that your house is filled with a wonderful aroma, torturing you for hours...
The prep is actually quite fast (especially with a mandolin), so you can whip out a batch, pop 'em in the oven and busy yourself elsewhere while you wait.
These are going to be a new snack staple in my home - I hope you'll give them a try as well, and let me know what you think!