Monday, October 20, 2014

Dried apples = delicious

We discovered the deliciousness that is dried apples when my sister lent us her dehydrator almost 2 years ago.  It took about one bite from our first batch to get hooked.  They had the wonderful apple flavor with some added cinnamon & sugar.  We could pretend they were healthy since they were apples.  The texture was perfectly chewy without being sticky.  We've made many batches since then, even investing (at $8 from Goodwill) in our own dehydrator and peeler/corer/slicer (a birthday present).  They only take a little hands-on time and make your house smell amazing while they dehydrate.  Even in the middle of the winter you can have a wonderful fall smell. 

Dehydrated apples
apples (we usually do at least a 3lb bag at a time)
orange juice
cinnamon & sugar (optional)

peeler/corer/slicer (optional but makes things way easier)
cutting board
container to soak apples in

1) Fill a decent sized container (8 cups?) with a mixture of orange juice and water.  I generally do about 50/50.  
2) Use a peeler/corer/slicer to peel/core/slice all the apples.  Or use a knife.  Try to keep all slices as uniform in size as possible.  If using a peeler/corer/slicer then slice apart the apple spiral.  Let slices soak in water/orange juice mixture for at least a few minutes. 
3) Rotate apples through the orange juice/water mixture.  Pull out the bottom ones and start laying on the dehydrator trays. 
4) Sprinkle trays with cinnamon & sugar (if using).  
5) Close up the dehydrator and plug in.  Mine recommends drying fruit at 135°.  Any extra apple slices can soak in the water/orange juice in the fridge until the first batch is done.
6) Begin checking around 8 hours.  You want the apples to have a little give but no remaining liquid.  Ours usually go for 9ish hours.  There is leeway on when you take them out, it would take a lot of extra hours to really ruin then.  They will shrink considerably.
7) Immediately start another batch if you have more apples.  We can usually do 2lbs at a time so it takes 2 batches to dehydrate a 3lb bag of apples.

8) Store the dried apples in a sealed container (we use gallon ziplock bags).  As long as there is no remaining moisture these can keep for a very long time.  Ours never last more than a few days.  

The last time I made these was as a thank you for a my sister for watching Luke all summer.  We started with 6 lbs of apples.  Luke and I snacked on maybe one apple worth so this was about 5.5lbs of apples...turned into 0.72lbs including the ziplock bag.  The peels and cores came out as well but that's a lot of water.  Five and a half pounds of apples dehydrated didn't even fill a gallon ziplock.  So start with at least 3lbs.  You won't have a problem eating them.

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