It's easy to make dried apples and their crispier cousins, apple chips, at home in your oven without a food dehydrator.
Here's how to do it in a home oven:
1. Position oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven; preheat to 200°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine 4 cups water and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a medium bowl. (The lemon juice helps prevent browning.)
3. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline (if you have one), slice 2 large apples as thin as possible, about 1/8 inch thick. (We skip peeling and coring because we like the look of the dried skins and the pretty pattern the core makes in the center.) Soak the slices in the lemon water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat the slices as dry as possible with paper towels (or clean kitchen towels). Place on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer.
4. Bake the slices on the upper and lower racks for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and turn each slice over; return the pans to the oven. Bake 1 more hour for soft dried apples or about 2 more hours for crispy apple chips. (Timing depends on your oven, the type of apple and thickness of the slices; check periodically and reduce or increase the total time as needed.) Turn off the oven, crack the door and leave the apples in the oven until the oven cools completely, 1 to 2 hours. Store airtight for up to 1 week or refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Makes: about 4 dozen apple slices or chips.
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This healthy oven-dried apple recipe is perfect if you want to make dried apples at home and don't have a dehydrator. Great for lunchboxes or as a snack, homemade dried apples are easy to make in the oven and are high in fiber and nutrients. To retain the fiber from the peels and to save time, we skip the step of peeling the apples first. We also skip coring-the star-shaped core makes a pretty shape in the center of each dried apple. For crispy apple chips, bake the apples about 1 hour more.
By Stacy Fraser
Stacy Fraser is Test Kitchen manager at EatingWell. With a background in ecological agriculture and many past growing seasons under her belt, Stacy began her study of food in the field, literally. Before joining the crew at EatingWell, Stacy managed the kitchen of breakfast and lunch hot spot Penny Cluse, in downtown Burlington, Vermont, where she learned how to make simple, delicious food from fresh ingredients.
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