Recipes Gone Wild: Tamarind-Curry Apple Chips

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

Stopping at a gas station upstate the other weekend, I had my first taste of this fall’s apple crop. A lady had set up a fruit stand just outside the food court, and there was no way I could pass up the little pint of slightly waxy Macouns she was selling. After months of resigning myself to the mealy leftovers of last year’s harvest, I couldn’t shut up about how much I was enjoying this freshly harvested apple– its bright, snappy crunch, it’s still-slightly-green astringency, it’s sweet-tart flavor.

At a glance: I’ll be stating the obvious here, but there’s simply nothing like the mighty apple. They taste amazing, are loaded with quick-releasing energy, and are one of the most economical and portable snacks you can get your hands on. And there are so many varieties to keep you interested– Crispin, Jonagold, Jonamac, Macintosh (my favorite), Macoun, Empire, Red Rome, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Macoun, Idared, Paulared, Ginger Gold, and on and on.

Still, after the initial thrill of munching fresh apples wears off and the weather cools down (for good this time!), I always welcome the comforting smell of cooked apples and spice in my apartment. This recipe for spiced apple chips is a great way to transition into fall. You don’t have to turn the oven up too high, and the resulting snack pairs the lightness of summer cooking with the warm spices of fall.

Tamarind-Curry Apple Chips 

Ingredients:
2 medium-sized apples, sliced into ⅛” thick rounds (sweet, firm apples like Honeycrisp work well)
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. tamarind pulp*
¾ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. hot curry powder (I used Vindaloo Curry)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
*You can buy a pressed brick of pulp at most specialty Asian markets

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 225°F.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the water, tamarind, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring up to a boil, stirring to break up the tamarind chunk.  Let boil for a minute, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring for another minute until the mixture becomes a semi-smooth paste (don’t worry about the tamarind seeds at this point if you left them in there).
3. On two parchment-lined baking sheets, arrange the apple slices in a single layer. Next, brush the tops of the apple slices with the tamarind glaze. Place in the heated oven and bake for 1 ½ hours.
4. Flip the apple slices, and now brush the unglazed side with tamarind mixture. Bake for another hour, or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. These chips will keep for a week or so, stored in an airtight container.
Recipe Photo: Libby VanderPloeg

About Libby V

Libby VanderPloeg lives and makes work in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She grew up in Michigan on the edge of the Great Lakes dunes, and has lived in Chicago, New York, and Stockholm. Her work comes out of her deep affinity for storytelling, music, letterforms, printed ephemera, and wildlife. None of these works could have been made without the world's finest brioche and several good, strong cups of coffee.

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