I’m at Whole Foods in the Lower East Side right now, sitting across from a middle-aged man wearing a suit and a cashmere coat. He has nice shoes and an expensive-looking watch that’s sitting the wrong way on his wrist. The laptop bag on the chair next to him looks brand new, and Friday’s edition of the New York Times is spread out in front of him.
It’s 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon and he’s been sleeping since I got here. Every once in a while he jolts awake, takes a sip of an organic, low-calorie energy drink, and then slumps back to sleep.
I’m so interested. How are you managing to look equal parts wealthy and homeless right now? Why were you pretending to read Friday’s paper? And what made you buy an expensive energy drink when you clearly came here to nap? Some things don’t make sense, and that’s how I feel about baked fruit. Usually.
My best friend from first grade often writes about the horrors of warm fruit on her super-popular baking blog, and I always find myself nodding in agreement at the computer screen when she criticizes pies. I don’t find it as horrific as her, but I do think fruit is best when it’s cold, fresh, and straight from the tree (bush, ground, etc.).
Baking something that’s already perfect and turning it into warm, sugary mush does seem like a waste. It’s like a pretty girl who gets hair extensions and wears too much makeup. You were better before you did all that.
But forget everything I just said. I’m about to tell you to bake an apple.
Unlike pies and cobblers, apple chips are crispy, maintain their apple-like appearance once cooked, and don’t require lots of added sugar. These are sweetened with cinnamon and sugar, but you can also leave out the sugar, or make them plain altogether.
These will leave your house smelling wonderful, and they’re really beautiful to look at. The core leaves behind a star-shaped pattern on each of the thinly sliced chips, making them look like rustic sand dollars. I’ve been storing them in a jar and eating a few after dinner for the last few days, but they’re also great for breakfasts, snacks, and even gifts.
Baked Apple Chips
Recipe Adapted from Fifteen Spatulas
- 2 Apples (I used Fuji. Granny Smith or any other crispy apples will work too!)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Slices apples as thinly as you can with a very sharp knife or a mandolin. (Cut the apple horizontally, so the core goes through each slice.) *You can core the apple first, which might be more practical but also much less pretty.
- Place apple slices on a parchment-lined baking tray, making sure there are no overlapping pieces, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake for 1 hour. Take out of the oven, flip all of the slices, and bake for one more hour.
- Turn the oven off after the second hour, but leave apple slices in until they’ve cooled and crisped.
- Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight jar for a few days.