I’ve been making these fruit crisps all winter that you would think I’d be sick of them by now but, I just can’t get enough! They’re such a handy snack to have around, there’s always been a point in the day when they have satiated hunger pangs, they’ve also made a great alternative sweet treat to lunch boxes and I think I will be serving them to guests as nibbles too at my next dinner party. Swapping the additional herbs and spices to suit my fancy have kept these crisps offbeat and enticing.
Just because they are fruit based crisps doesn’t mean you can’t give them a savoury twist. Pears are a classic combo to have with roquefort cheese, or in a Waldorf salad so sometimes I like to roast them with nutritional yeast and crushed garlic cloves. A dash of chilli flakes would be great for a take on sweet chilli crisps without the added refines sugar.
I’ve also made these with apples and quince instead of pear as they are all in season during the autumn/ winter period. By march when spring will hopefully be in swing their season will be over so go grab a bag from your local grocers, farmer shop or supermarket quick!
Back to the crisps! My favourite by far is pear. When roasted their sugars create an chasm of delicious flavours, similar to nutty toasted butter and smooth caramel toffees. What I love about these crisps are the variety of textures some will be chewy and others crunchy. Overtime they will become more chewy simply because they will soften each time you open the container to snaffle away on them as they react with the moisture in the air. Don’t worry this is inevitable and doesn’t mean they are going off these babies will last a whole week kept airtight if they survive our pesky tummy’s first!
I get so much pleasure from getting such intense flavour from such a minimal, simple recipe. And I hope you will too.
(This recipe makes about 5 generous handfuls)
tsp olive oil per baking tray
tsp fresh, finely chopped thyme/rosemary per tray
1.Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and 140 degrees for fan assisted ovens. Slice the pears thinly, width ways so you get circular crisps. You want them to be about 2mm thick, a mandolin would be great to use if you have one but patience and a steady hand will work just as well.
2. Before you place the fruit on trays to bake, pour a tsp of oil onto each tray, drop the herbs into the oil and using a pastry brush mix the herbs into the oil so they are coated and won’t burn in the oven. Then brush the oil and herbs across the entire tray. Now go ahead and lay the slices in a single layer over the trays. As you can see the amount of oil, herbs and number of trays you will need depends on the amount and size of fruit you’re using and how many pieces can fit on a tray.
3. Bake the fruit for 25 minutes, then turn each slice over and leave to bake for another 15 minutes. You are looking for the crisps to be a dark golden brown, both sides should look dry and the edges should have started to curl. Smaller pieces will probably have reached this stage so remove them from the trays and place them on a cooling rack. Larger pieces will need another 10 minutes before they are ready. You can then keep checking and removing crisps when you are satisfied with their roastedness.
4. It’s essential to place the baked crisps on a cooling rack immediately after they come out the oven. Don’t let them cool on the trays as the moisture left on the trays will soak back into the fruits making them soggy and not crisp. A wire rack will help dry the crips out further as they cool. When completely cold store the crisps at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.