Dear Apple Blossoms,
There are many ways to set aside food for future use. Our household chooses dehydration.
The dehydration process is fairly simple. A food dehydrator makes the job much easier. It’s even great fun for the younger ones.
Dried apples are great in oatmeal, granola, and so much more!
Step 1 Gather Supplies
You will need apples, corer, knife, bowls, water, treatment solution, slotted spoon, food dehydrator, cutting board, measuring cups/spoons, and storage containers.
Step 2 Prepare & Cut Apples
Wash the apples and dry them off. Core and pare, if desired.
Cut into rings or slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick or cut in quarters or eighths.
Step 3 PreTreat
Cut peeled fruit directly into a pretreatment solution.
Soak for 10 minutes then remove using a slotted spoon.
Step 4 Dehydrate (Food Dehydrator)
Arrange in single layer on trays, pit side up. Dry until soft, pliable, and
leathery; no moist area in center when cut.
Pretreating apples before drying keeps it from turning brown, and it destroys harmful bacteria.
How to PreTreat Apples
1. Cut peeled fruit directly into the pretreatment solution
2. Soak fruit for 10 minutes then remove using a slotted spoon
3. Drain well
What Goes in Pretreatment Solutions
Any of the following can be used: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Lemon Juice. See one of the pdfs below for pretreatment recipes.
I get citric acid from a local health food store.
The Drying Process
How to Dry Apples in a Food Dehydrator
Arrange pretreated fruit in single layers on drying trays after slicing and pretreating them. Make sure the pit cavity is facing upwards.
Dry at the temperature described in your food dehydrator.
Make notes of drying times for specific apple thicknesses in the dehydrator section of your kitchen notebook.
Testing for Dryness
Dried fruits should be leathery and pliable. Remove a few pieces and let cool to room temp. Check for moisture and dampness by squeezing. If no moisture remains on your hands, and the pieces spring apart, they are dry.
Store apples in a plastic freezer bag or glass container in a cool dry place.
Check daily for moisture for several days. Return the fruit to the dehydrator if moisture beads form inside the container.
Fruits that have been exposed to fruit flies and the Indian meal moth
require additional treatment to kill insects eggs. Use the freezer or oven to pasteurize.
Storage of Dried Apples
Place dehydrated fruit in moisture and vapor proof freezer bags or boxes.
Keep in a cook, dry, dark place for 6 to 12 months.
Resources & Sources
These resources offer a lot of detailed instructions including pretreatment solutions, and how to condition and pasteurize:
Drying apple slices or rings (pdf) — University of Georgia
Fruits (Colorado State University) pdf — Colorado State University
Fruits and Vegetables (pdf) — University of Georgia