This week I have still been working my way through preserving our last batch of apples. I was slowed down a bit by the pesky cold I caught last weekend, but I’m finally catching up! In addition to spiced apples, applesauce and apple butter I made last week, I’ve also been making dried apples! These are so easy to make, keep well for months, and they are a delicious snack! They’re perfect for tossing in your backpack for a fall hike, or tossing in your bag for when you’re driving the kids around to their activities. You can also chop them up and add them to your granola or trail mix.
I happen to have a food dehydrator, which is what I use to make dried apples, but you don't really need one. You can do them in a warm oven, but you do have to watch them carefully so they don’t get overdone.
Here’s how it’s done:
Wash your apples and slice them into uniform slices, about ¼ inch thick. This is easiest with an apple corer-peeler-slicer. I never peel my apples, but you can if you want to. Lay the slices out on your dehydrator trays in a single layer, or if you are using your oven, lay your slices out on a baking rack. You can place them so they are touching, just not overlapping. They will shrink quite a bit as they dry. If using a dehydrator, just follow your machine’s instructions. If using the oven, place the baking rack in the center of your oven and turn it on the lowest possible setting. For most ovens, this will be 170 or so, but if your oven only goes down to 200, you should probably leave the door slightly ajar. Watch the apples carefully, and test one now and then to see if it’s done. It should be fairly well dried out. Slightly chewy is OK, but if they’re too moist they won’t keep. If you prefer, you can dry them a little longer to make them into crunchy apple chips. Just be careful not to overdo it! You don’t want them to get too browned or they will have a funny burnt taste.
When the apple slices are dry, let them cool and then store them in airtight containers or zip bags. They will keep several months in a cool, dry place.