When apples are in season, I can’t get enough of all the varieties. I am amazed at how different they taste when many of them look the same at first glance of their red and yellow skin. We have a drawer in our fridge where we store apples. If we were more organized, we would have a method to sorting them to remember each type. That doesn’t happen, so unless it is an apple that is best cooked, all eating apples end up together. If there is an apple surplus, I slice them paper-thin using a mandolin and cook them low and slow in the oven until they are crisp.
I usually snack on these homemade apple chips, but this time I tossed them into a batch of apple cider granola. Rather than solely relying on the oven timer to know when the oats were golden brown, I kept an eye on them to make sure they didn’t end up too dark. I skipped sugar for sweetening and instead used a combination of honey and apple cider. Something just seemed more authentic about using as much apple as possible in this recipe. As an add-in to my usual cereal or Greek yogurt, the granola had the perfect autumnal flavor.
Makes about 3 cups
1 sweet crisp apple, cored (I used a Honeycrisp apple.)
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment.
Slice the apple 1/8-inch or thinner using a mandolin. Place the apple slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet pans. Bake the apples for 1-1/2 hours until they are dried and brown. Set aside to cool before roughly chopping.
Increase the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, honey, apple cider and vanilla extract. Spread the mixture onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes and toss the granola. Continue baking for 15 minutes until golden brown checking the granola every 5 minutes to make sure it does not burn.
Allow the granola to cool and then mix in the dried apple.
Store in an airtight container.