I'm absolutely convinced that the weekend was just a mirage. I haven't had a weekend fly by this quickly in years! Looking back on the last 48 hours there was tons of reading, running, shopping, and baking. Perfection! I picked up a mandolin slicer at Target Saturday and spent a few hours that afternoon trying to make veggie chips. Total fail (but I will be trying again soon.) Sunday morning I worked for a bit and by 8 a.m. I was in the kitchen, listening to NPR, and determined to make my first foray into fruit chips more successful than their vegetable predecessors. Total win! The moment I posted a pic of the final product on Twitter I was bombarded with requests for a recipe. I am happily at your service!
While it is possible to slice the vegetables very, very thinly without a slicer I'd strongly suggest you pick a mandolin slicer up. I had an entire apple sliced into about 40 paper thin slices in under a minute. I used the mandolin to slice an apple and pear, and cut by hand some pineapple and one banana. I had to do the baking in two batches as I could only fit two baking sheets in the oven at once. I picked this one up at Target but you can find it on Amazon here cheaper!
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and brush lemon juice on the apple and pear slices before baking. Reading other tutorials online and the lemon juice helps prevent the light colored fruit from browning excessively while baking.
I didn't do any prep for the bananas but I did put the pineapple slices on a paper towel and used another towel to press down on them a few times, to get some of the moisture out.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. These baking times are approximate and I encourage you to check often toward the end to make sure they do not burn!
Apples 1.5 hours
Pears 1.5 hours
Pineapple 2.5 hours
Bananas 3 hours
As you can see, the fruit with the highest moisture content took the longest. I flipped the chips about every 20 minutes. They continue to crisp up a little bit after you take them out, but it's not a significant amount so I'd cook them until they reach your desired 'crispness level.' This was a very time consuming process. The total time spent prepping the vegetables, checking on them, and flipping was probably 45 minutes. Not terrible, but you are tied to the oven for a few hours. To be honest, I much preferred the apples and pears which crisped up perfectly so I don't know if I'd make the pineapple or banana again. Even at those cooking times they were still a bit chewy when I took them out! I was on my way out of town for the afternoon or I would have kept them in longer.
Overall I'm quite pleased with the apple and pear chips. This was all inspired by my trip to Fresh Market last week where I had some of the incredible bulk bin fruit and veggie chips (same kind they have at Whole Foods.) When I looked online and realized they were so delicious because they were fried in oil I knew I had to find a way to make a healthier version. Yes, this all could have been done in a food dehydrator but I defy you to find space in my 490 sq ft studio for that apparatus!
Have you had success with fruit or veggie chips before? If so, please leave your tips!