Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dried Apples

I like drying the more tart apples because as they dry, the sugar concentrates, and they become mildly sweet, instead of overly sweet like some of the apples that are already sweet when they are fresh.

Start with as many apples as you want. Wash and dry them, then slice them into 1/8 – ¼ - inch thick slices, working around the core. (There are a couple ways to do this. If you have a small round cookie cutter, you can just slice them all up equator-wise, leaving the core intact, and then using the little cookie cutter to cut out all the cores from the individual slices.

Otherwise, you can slice them non-equator-wise up til you hit the core on both sides, then slice the other two sides off. With this method, you’ll get discs from the first two sides, and then strips from the second two sides.) 

First slice on one side, then the other side.

Then slice the two remaining skinny sides.

Place them on mesh dehydrator trays and dehydrate using the “fruit” setting (if there is one) or at 135 degrees F for about 6 - 10 hours (the time may vary greatly because of the water content of your apples, the airflow, and differences in dehydrators).

You can also do this in the oven. Set your oven to 135 degrees, or its lowest temperature. Arrange the apple slices on cake racks, and bake for about 6 - 10 hours. Rotate the trays every once in a while to ensure even drying.

No matter which method you use, you can tell the dried apples are done when they are leathery and flexible, and are about the consistency of a raisin. 

Some variations:
If you want apple chips, you can leave them in for a really long time (up to 24 hours).
If you want something a little more exciting, you can sprinkle the sliced apples with cinnamon, or nutmeg, or allspice (or anything else for that matter!) before putting them in the dehydrator. 

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