Dried apples, seasoned, or plain, are a great snack by themselves or addition to home-made trail mix. But the price in the stores is exorbitant. And when you make them yourself, you can be sure that the apples are free of pesticides and the finished dried apples have no other additives, like sulfur. They make excellent gifts, too.
Here's how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated. All you need is a food dehydrator and a vacuum sealer.
Vacuum food sealer or "ziploc" type freezer bags (the freezer bag version is heavier and protects better against freezer burn.
PROCESS- How to Make Dried Apples from Fresh Apples
Step 1 - Selecting the apples
Use better quality apples. You don't want mushy, bruised or rotten apples. Which varieties? Whatever are your favorites, any will work!
Step 2- Wash the apples
Just wash the apples in cold water, no soap.(I soak in H2O2 and baking soda.) If you are going to remove the skins, don't spend too much time on it. Either way, be sure to remove any stickers that the grocery store put on the apples, though. Peelers often get suck on those.
Step 3 - Remove bruises and soft spots
Cut out any bruised or soft parts.
Step 4 (Optional) Remove the apple skins
If you do not want to remove the skins, skip to step 5. This is completely optional; some people prefer them with skins, some without. The mechanical apple peelers really DO work well - they're fast and easy; as long as the apples are firm and do not have many bruises or soft spots. One type of peeler also cores (eliminating the seeds, stem and bottom at the same time) AND slices the apples into a spiral that is about 1/8 inch thick, which I break it into nice rings. This little device really saves a lot of time.
Step 5 - Dry the apples
There is a huge degree of variation in both moisture content and drying rate of different apple varieties and driers vary considerably, too. The same variety will even behave differently in different seasons. Plus you may like your slices more chewy or crisp, which may require you to shorten or lengthen the drying time. The key is to monitor the first batch closely, check them and sample them occasionally until they are the way you like and use that timing for future batches.
Arrange the pieces on each drying tray so that air can circulate, preferably with the pieces not touching each other, but there's no need to become obsessive about it. Some people prefer to sprinkle the apples with some spices (typically cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice). Turn on the dehydrator on and enjoy the aroma.
If your food drier has a thermostat, set it for 140 degrees F. It will take 12 to 24 hours. See "how to tell when they are done" in step 6, below.
Step 6 - How to tell when they're done
The amount of time it takes depends on the water content of the apples, the thickness of the slices, and how well the air is able to circulate around them. You need to dry them at least to the consistency of a raisin, or they won't keep. When done, the apples should be flexible like a raisin from a fresh bag; not brittle. Most describe them as leathery with a deep red color, without free water or a tacky feeling. If you want them drier (more crispy), that's fine.
Step 7 - Cool, then fill the zipper-type bags
Let the apples cool to room temperature (about 20 to 30 minutes).
Then fill the bags. Don't overfill the bags, leave a little room for expansion.
Step 8 - Vacuum seal the bags
Vacuum seal according to the manufacturer's instructions.
TIP: If you don't own a vacuum food sealer, place food in a Ziploc bags, zip the top shut but leave enough space to insert the tip of a soda straw. When straw is in place, remove air by sucking the air out. To remove straw, press straw closed where inserted and finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw. You may need to open them and reseal them to eliminate any air pockets.
Step 9 - Store the bags in a cool, dark place
On a cool, dark shelf, the dried apples will retain their color and flavor for about 6 to 9 months.
If you want to store them longer than that, just put them in the freezer instead.
TYPICAL YIELD is 2 cups of dried apples for each 5 lbs. of fresh apples. The yield varies considerably depending upon the moisture content of the apples
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (567g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 9 (3%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 1g||1 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.2g||1 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.3g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 5.7mg||0 %|
|Potassium 606.7mg||16 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 78.3g||23 %|
|Dietary Fiber 13.6g||54 %|
|Sugars, other 64.7g|
|Protein 1.5g||2 %|
Powered by: USDA Nutrition Database
Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 295
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