What happens when you forget about a dozen Washington State organic apples in your refrigerator and 2 have gone bad? Grumble and get busy using them up so you don’t waste anymore food! And being that it is late spring, my pantry stores are looking pretty thin, with nary a hand-dehydrated apple to be seen. They got eaten months ago , where as the prunes just sit there mournfully, hoping that just for once…I’ll pick them. Not. Dried apples are so tasty when ripped/chopped up and added to oatmeal….
I use a L’Equip 306200 500-Watt 6-Tray Food Dehydrator, Gray for my drying. I have found it to be a hard-working machine for the past 4 or 5 years. It works great and looks good – always a bonus. So I got it down and washed up the apples.
Last fall I came across a Norpro Apple Master Parer, Slicer and Corer on mega-clearance – it was marked down and then was 50% off the lowest price. I paid under $10 for it.
At first I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, due to it having a suction cup base. When I was a kid we always used clamp-on grinders and whatnot, the suction cup ones never worked well. So finally, I pulled down the Applemaster 866R and set it up. My fears were unwarranted. Norpro has a pretty good track record with me for their tools, and this works great! It worked so well that Walker wandered in and took over. The 3-year-old peeled, cored and sliced 6 out of the 10 apples! And was upset there were no more to do. Hah!
Why did I wait so long to get one of these? Yeah, it is a uni-tasker…but wow does it work! What is a boring and messy chore (peeling, coring, slicing) goes by quickly. The machine quickly cleans up as well. All I am is saying…is if you like eating apples, pears, potatoes, onions..get one of these! And I wasted a lot less produce with the efficient peeling/slicing, but more so, my slices were actually uniform for once. Which means my apple slices dried evenly for the first time.
So the recipe? Nah, more a guide really!
Home-dried Apple Rings
- Apples, preferably organic
- 1 large lemon
Scrub apples gently to remove waxes and dry.
Fill a large mixing bowl with cool water, squeeze lemon juice in it. As you peel, core and slice apples, toss into the bowl to prevent browning.
Drain apples, spread out on mesh lined drying racks. Dry at 135-145° till dry. Mine took 14 hours. Let cool and store in glass jars, in a cool/dark place. For best storage, shake jar every month to distribute any remaining moisture. You don’t want your dried fruit to be desert hard, a little moisture is fine, shaking the jar keeps everything good.
So how do you know if your fruit is actually dry? Rip a piece in half and try it. Your fruit should be leathery, thin and have no tacky spots on top, bottom or inside. It is something you have to just learn more than be shown But don’t be scared of it, it is pretty hard to mess up dehydrating.