When I say “Ridiculously-Easy,” boy-oh-boy do I mean it!
If you’ve got a dehydrator and a spiralizer (I have an attachment for my Kitchenaid stand-up mixer), you can have an entire batch of apple chips in about five minutes of active time. An apple corer and a mandolin – or a sharp knife that will slice the apples nice and evenly, and super skinny – will do in a pinch, though you’ll have to account for the time it takes you to slice.
Considering how relatively expensive a quality batch of dried fruit can be (check next time you’re on Amazon or in the store!), and the fact that I now have three indentured servants living under my roof who are ALL benefitted by the production of apple chips (and ALL excited to make the next batch because it only takes a few minutes of their short attention spans!), my dehydrator and spiralizer paid for themselves within two weeks. It’s definitely not an appliance that sits unused on a shelf!
If you’re really old-school, you can also do these in your oven. However, the recipe holds your oven hostage for six to eight hours, and is subject to drafts and inability to regulate temp and humidity as well as you may want. And I’m less confident about letting the littles do this on their own, like they can in the dehydrator.
And one last word on these: people always seem to be very concerned about oxidation, and the apples turning brown during the drying process. Lots of recipes, therefore, suggest brushing with lemon juice, or a mixture of lemon juice and water, or a mixture of lemon juice, water, and honey to sweeten the apples further. I have found a negligible difference between my lemonized and non-lemonized apples.
Truly, if you don’t believe me, run the experiment: NEGLIGIBLE difference. The same goes for the honey, unless you use super tart apples. And for that matter, I don’t much care for peeling the fruit first, either (even with a specific peeling attachment on my spiralizer, I simply don’t bother). Remember, I’m making four million lunches at a time, and have four million work-related and child-related things to do even when I’m not cooking, so I’d really really REALLY rather spend those extra few minutes pouring myself a glass of wine … er … building homes for underprivileged children (*phew! Good save! I deserve a glass of wine for that!).
- 3 large apples (or about 4.5 small apples)
- Ground cinnamon … or not.
- Spiralize your apples (or core and slice thinly and evenly – super important – about 1/8 inch thick).
- Distribute onto dehydrator trays, being careful to have absolutely no overlapping apple bits. You may need to tear the apple rings in half, or into smaller pieces, to best take advantage of your space.
- Sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon. You could the tiniest sprinkling of nutmeg or cloves if it’s getting to be the fall months, and you want to give your kiddos that special autumn feel without baking a damn pie. See? I’m an awesome mom.
- Turn your dehydrator to 140 degrees, and walk away for six hours (I like dried apples slightly on the chewy side, as opposed to crisp – you could go for a full eight hours if you’d rather have them be closer to potato chips).
- Don’t bother touching, checking, fretting, or waking up from your nap, if that’s what you decide to do with your time. It’ll be perfect.
- All done! Throw those suckers into an airtight container if you’re going to be eating them within the next few days. Vacuum seal or refrigerate if you’re going to let them sit for longer … you know … right after you get back from your amazing Caribbean vacation, because what other reason could you possibly have to not eat these within the next few days?
- Practically any variety or apple will do, so you can do this year-round. I've used Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and Jazz. None required lemon juice or sweeteners. Seriously.