I wasn't too happy when the Week 44 challenge came up as dehydrating. We don't own a dehydrator, and I certainly wasn't going to buy one for this challenge when we haven't needed one in all the years we've been cooking. You could use dehydrated ingredients, but doing something like throwing raisins into a dish just didn't seem that exciting to me. After doing some research, I found a guide on The Kitchn for making some apple chips in the oven and figured that would work.
I picked up one Fuji apple at the store. I didn't think one apple would yield a ton of chips, but this was more of an experiment than a plan for a week of apple chip snacks. Using only a single apple and some cinnamon also made it a really cheap challenge.
The first thing to do was to slice the apple. We don't have a mandoline, so I did this by hand. I didn't plan it out very well either, because once I started slicing, I realized that the chips were going to be all different sizes. I also was just having one of those days where I was completely unable to make even, thin slices. I had some pieces that were so small that they didn't even seem worth dehydrating, so I got to eat some apple as a snack that afternoon.
The next step was to put the apple slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then dust them with cinnamon. I wasn't able to do that evenly either, which is pretty obvious from the photo. I ended up with quite a few slices with no cinnamon on them and a bunch of cinnamon on the parchment paper, so it all had to be evened out before I could put them in the oven.
Once the apple slices were ready to go, I put them in a 225 degree oven for about an hour and a half. At least that was the plan, but I forgot to set the timer until a few minutes in, so I'm not sure exactly how long they were in there. It was about an hour and a half though. Since the apple slices were just dehydrating, and since they were all different sizes, I just checked to see how some of the "better looking" slices were doing to see when it was done.
The apple chips turned out pretty well in the end, even if the texture was completely uneven. The thicker slices were still on the softer side, and the really thin ones turned out crispy, with most somewhere in the middle. I liked these better than the apple slices you can get packaged which are often a little chewier and just taste more "preserved." Making them at home was also cheaper. If I ever find myself wanting apple chips (which isn't often, but it could happen) or we have apples to use up, I think I'll do it this way again.