One of the simple pleasures of fall is a journey to the apple orchard. On a little jaunt to get fabric for period costumes, we decided on a side trip once we realized we were going near Tuttle’s orchard. The thoughts of fresh-pressed cider and pick-your-own Jonathan apples spurred us on.
Some fruits ( especially apples, pears, bananas, and peaches) need to be pre-treated before dehydrating in order to make them taste better, look better, or last longer.
I have experimented with a few pre-treatments on the market, but the best I’ve used is pure ascorbic acid powder ( powdered Vitamin C) which you can get in almost any pharmacy. I use 1/2 tsp. per quart of water. Another option is lemon or lime juice in a 1:4 ratio…(1/4 c. juice to 1 c. water).
Doing smaller batches of 5-6 apples each, you can reuse the acidy water many times. For sectioning apples, cut into 16 wedges (4/quarter). You can be less wasteful if you cut out the little semi-circular core with a knife instead of using a corer. I chose to leave the skins on after washing them well b/c they are so much more colorful. It also saves oodles of time.
My friend Jennifer just did her apples and recommended organic apples from Azure Standard. (Delivery routes). She got a 20 lb. box for about $18.00-$20.00 depending on the variety…priced less than conventional produce!! I’m looking into this now.
OK, I got side-tracked: Blot dry your pre-treated apples with paper towels before putting them on the racks. I got the equivalent of 5 apples per tray.
~ fruits dry at 135 degrees for 7-10 hours. See drying chart.
The resulting chip is very flavorful and you could never eat just one. Dried apples are naturally sweet and are a great substitute for candy or unhealthy snacks. One thing I really like is that little ones won’t get sticky hands Dried apples provide fiber pectin, potassium, Vitamin C, and some iron.
The perfectly dried chip should be flexible and not break. All the natural essential oils and nutritional goodness is locked inside. This is raw food in a highly storable form when done correctly. Experiment and enjoy the fruit of your labor with your family…laugh, sing, and praise God for His wonderful bounty!
“Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples
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