Apple Chips

Apples are the signature fruit of fall — and where would fairy tales be without them?

Eating a McIntosh is my father's favorite evening pastime. Whenever we visit him, Olivia, 4, and Adam, 2, wait for the moment when Papa brings his snack out on a plate with a knife for peeling. They sit patiently as he carves off the skin and doles out custom cuts: Adam gets a paper-thin slice — anything bigger, and he'll just stuff it away in one cheek, chipmunk-style; Olivia gets a dainty wedge, which she savors slowly.

Here's an easy recipe that makes the most of the fresh, crisp flavor of apples, and your junior chef can help.

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Yield: 25 to 50 chips

Ingredients

    1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (confectioners' or granulated)
    1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
    Pinch of ground cloves
    Pinch of nutmeg
    1 large crisp apple, such as Braeburn or Granny Smith

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Have your helper stir together the dry ingredients in a small bowl, then sprinkle half the mixture onto the baking sheet.
  3. Cut the apple into slices as thin as possible, up to 1/8 inch. (You don't need to peel or core it; the seeds will just fall off.) If you have a mandoline, cut the apple vertically into rounds. If you're using a knife, it may be easier to halve the apple lengthwise, then put the halves cut side down and make half-moon-shaped slices.
  4. Your child can then arrange the slices on the baking sheet in one layer. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture over the apples, then bake in the middle of the oven for 11/2 hours. Rotate the pan and bake for another hour, or until the apples are crisp. (If yours aren't getting crisp enough, try turning off the heat and leaving them in the oven overnight.)

  5. Loosen the chips with a spatula, then cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the parchment. They'll keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving (10 chips): 29 Calories, 0g Protein, 8g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 0g Fat, 0g Saturated Fat, 0mg Sodium, 0mg Cholesterol.

About the Author
Chef/mom Diane Forley Otsuka is the author of The Anatomy of a Dish.

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