I had two things on my agenda this Fall week: making something real & delicious from freshly picked apples, and incorporating Fantastic Mr. Fox wherever possible. If you’ve ever seen Wes Anderson’s ferociously funny version, you will know all about Mrs. Bean’s famous Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snaps!
I got to thinking and realized that Mrs. Bean’s idea of nutmeg + ginger + apple sounded rather decent! And baking apple chips is an easy way to get clean snacks in a kid’s (or adult’s) belly, while effortlessly incorporating seasonal spices too. Check, check!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- APPLES, preferably organic (I usually make 4-5 at a time)
- SPICES & FLAVORINGS of choice. This is where you can get creative to incorporate all different flavors. Organic cinnamon would be an easy hit, or maybe even some course sprinkled real salt. To obtain the Nutmeg Ginger goodness I used…
OPTIONAL: Core the apples. This could be pretty easily achieved if you have an apple corer, or even a vegetable peeler with a pointy, round tip (like this one). I had neither and started the deed with an exacto kitchen knife, which I don’t recommend. (Not pictured – the bandaid I earned about 2 minutes in…)
When I eat organic apples, I tend to eat the core anyways to grab some B17 from the seeds. So after struggling to hack the cores out with a sharp blade, I returned to my tried and true method of just leaving them in and just slicing the intact apple. And for those of you who are concerned that seeds may be a choking hazard, the reality is that after being thinly sliced, the remaining seed fragments are far less of a danger than chunks of apple itself. SO, if you feel your kid can safely handle the apple slice, I think the seed and core is plently safe too.
The thickness of your slices will make a difference in your baking time and end result. Loosely, you could imagine 1/8 inch slices to yield crispy chips after just 2 hours of baking, while 1/5 inch slices would be chewy rounds at the same point. Thicker slices would also work for either if you up the baking time.
Next, toss the slices, spices, and juice (if using) together in a bowl. Our family really loves ginger, so I use some freshly grated pieces in addition to dried ginger. My method for this is to toss the grated pieces in as much as possible, then after the slices are lined on baking sheets I take remaining ginger bits from the bottom of the bowl and massage them into the slices.
Then, simply line the slices on a non-greased baking sheet, closely together but not overlapping. Bake at 200 degrees F in the center of your oven, for about 2-2.5 hrs depending on your desired end result (or even longer, as previously mentioned, if you sliced your apples thicker than I do mine). Either way, you will want to check the apples regularly after the 2 hour mark.
NOTE: If you have more than one tray baking at a time, you will need to switch them around in the oven every 20ish minutes to ensure even baking and avoid burning.
At this point we take them out and eat them! They seem to keep well for a couple of days if kept in a tightly closed container (we use this silicone zip bag). Truthfully though, we usually eat them by the end of the second day so I’m not sure how long they would last without us hungry monsters around!!