drying apples

Drying apples in a dehydrator

This week, I dried apples for the first time.  This is a simple preservation technique, and I’m not really sure why I never did it before.  I wanted to make these delicious sounding Apple Pie Caveman Bars from Civilized Caveman, and it called for dried apples.  I actually looked for dried apples at the grocery store, but we didn’t find any.  Then the light bulb kicked on and I remembered that my dehydrator was actually meant for drying things, not just making yogurt.

Equipment

I probably used way more equipment than was necessary.  I used two organic Gala apples, a knife, an apple wedger, my quilting ruler, and of course, my dehydrator.  I’m sure you could do just fine without the wedger and the quilting ruler, but I was being rather particular that evening.

These two guys have no idea what is coming

First, I cored and wedged them with my wedger.  A knife would have done the job quite admirably, but sometimes we just want to use our toys.

A pretty apple flower

I probably could have dried them in this state, but I imagined that the bar recipe would work better with smaller pieces, so I sliced up each wedge.  I remembered reading that apples should be sliced 1/4″ thick for drying, so I pulled out my quilting ruler to make sure I got them exactly 1/4″ after having disastrous luck with guessing.

Perfect slices

All that was left was to transfer them to the dehydrator, so I loaded them up on a tray, using one of the new tray liners my daughter L gave me for Christmas.

Full tray of little wedge slices

I dried them in the dehydrator overnight at 105° F, and presto! I had dried apples for my recipe.

They do shrink when they dry

A close up

These two medium size apples made about 3/4 to 1 cup of dried apples.   They are slightly chewy and oh so good.  Today I will slice up some rings to make some snacks.

Other methods

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also set them on a tray in the oven with the temp set at at the lowest it will go and the door left ajar, or you can load them up on strings and hang them over a radiator.  If using the oven, I would suggest arranging them on a cooling rack set on a cookie tray so that the pieces aren’t actually on the tray and get better air circulation.

Have you dried fruits before?  What method did you use?  Did you like the results?

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