Fall settles strangely here in the city. One minutes it’s warm, sunny, and the leaves are on the trees. Then suddenly, the winds pick up, the leaves turn and quickly fall off. Elsewhere, fall is a more gradual process with vibrant colors and fresh, bracing air. That’s why we always head out of town in October–to get a sense of our favorite time of year. But this year, things have been different.
Not only do we have a new baby (not so new anymore–she’s three months!), we also found out a couple months ago that our sweet dog, Oscar, has cancer. He doesn’t have much longer to live, so instead of traveling away from the city, we’ve been here taking care of him here and enjoying these bittersweet days.
But we still needed to get out of town, if only for a few hours, and after two planned trips falling through, we finally broke out last weekend and headed upstate for the day. I had wanted to make it in time to get berries, or even apples, but by late October the season was pretty much over. We did pick up heaps of apples (already picked), a giant pumpkin, straight form the patch, and picked our own kale and squash. It was a classic bright, sunny day complete with apple cider and donuts.
When bringing home an apple haul like that I usually make apple sauce right away. But this time I opted for something a little more portable–apple chips. My take is simple, with no sugar, just salt and a little (or a lot) of cinnamon. These have been great for school lunches and playground snacks. Or for munching uncontrollably while standing in the kitchen.
5 small to medium apples (preferably fresh and crisp–I used MacIntosh)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 (or more) large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Wash the apples well. Carefully cut out the cores with a sharp paring knife. Use a mandoline slicer to slice the apples to 1/8″ thick. Lay out on the baking sheets, trying not to overlap too many apples. Sprinkle with salt, and dust with cinnamon. Bake for 3 – 4 hours, until the apples have curled and the skin has wrinkled slightly. Apple chips will crisp as they cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Refrigerate or freeze if planning to keep longer.