Delicious dried apples

dried applesOur own dried apples are a family favourite. The ones you see here are Captain Kidd’s. If you gave my kids a dried apple from the supermarket they’d be horrified (tasteless, white, rubbery things) These are something special.

Fruit with bird pecks, no stalks or bruises wont store, so need to be eaten right away or processed. When faced with kilos of apples, drying is wonderfully simple and very useful. Well loved by the clan, I can never dry enough.

Here’s how

There’s no need to peel apples for drying, so this means cleaning them. Tip the apples into a bucket and cover with water. Find a willing companion to while away the time and dry them with a towel.

Put 1 litre water and 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice of white vinegar into a bowl. The acid stops browning.
Set the mandolin up on top of the bowl of lemony water and slice the apples straight into it.

Shake off excess water and lay slices side by side on the trays of the drier. They’ll shrink as they dry so no need to leave big gaps.

If you have a run of sun in the weather forecast then use the solar drier. It usually takes 2 days. Check the fruit at the end of the first day when it’s cooled down. Your fruit is ready when it peels off the mesh easily. Rub it between your thumb and forefinger. Resistance shows you it’s dry. If it slides easily there is still moisture remaining. The drier your fruit is, the less flavour and grittier texture. The moister the fruit is the greater chance of it going mouldy in storage. In between is the sweet spot! Practice is your best teacher.

I dried these apples in the electric dehydrator because it was raining and cloudy for a few days ahead. I set mine to 50 degrees to take a slower approach – they taste better this way. Turn the dehydrator off after 6 hours and once the fruit’s cooled, check for doneness.

Store

In sterilised glass jars. Fruit dried this way will easily last 12 months, no moulds in sight. There really is no need for all those nasty sulphites in commercial dried fruit.