So you don’t know what to do with all those apples, why not dehydrate them? Apples are high in fiber and very nutritious. I keep the skin on mine for even more fiber. They last all year-long (except in my house because we eat them). Use them for snacks or even the kids lunches at school and home. Just store them in an airtight container after dehydrating them. I keep mine in mason jars. I bought some oxygen absorbers from Amazon for added dryness protection.
Last year I bought Stayman Apples but you can use whatever kind you want. I had to buy apples last year because the frost killed all of my apple blossoms and we didn’t have any apples for the first time in the 25 years we lived here. This year all three trees are loaded!
It is better to dehydrate a firm apple. I bought what the farmers market called seconds. There was nothing wrong with them other than the fact they had a blemish here and there. They were 50% off because they were seconds costing me $9.00 for a half bushel. I like the price of my homegrown free apples better but that wasn’t a bad price.
I dehydrate my apples in a dehydrator but you can do them in the oven (directions below) if you don’t have a dehydrator. You can buy an inexpensive dehydrator for around $35.00 and up. That is how I started out and I used it for years. Once I knew I was going to use it a lot, I invested in an Excalibur Dehydrator which has nine large trays and a temperature setting. I dehydrate many things like herbs, veggies and even marshmallow peeps! I also make beef jerky and yogurt in mine. There are so many things you can do in a dehydrator.
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
oxygen absorbers, optional
Mix lemon juice and water in a bowl and set aside.
Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice apples about 1/4″ thick. Slice around the core as the core will be discarded. Make sure they are all the same thickness or they will dry at different times.
Dip apple slices into the lemon juice mixture. Drain apple slices in a strainer.
Place apples on the dehydrator trays laying them flat and not touching each other.
Dehydrate according to your dehydrators instructions. Mine took nine hours to dry. If you dry them too fast and hot, the outside will dry and the inside will not. If you will eat them immediately, this is not a problem. If you are planning on storing them, don’t unless they are completely dry.
They must dry low and slow for all of the moisture to be removed. My apple slices are crispy, like eating chips. They will feel rubbery if not completely dried. To test mine, I removed one from the dehydrator and let it sit on the counter to cool. That’s when they get crispy, after they cool.
Once dry, allow to cool completely and put them in an air tight container. Add an oxygen absorber to add extra moisture protection (optional).
To dehydrate in the oven, set the oven at the lowest possible setting. Most ovens are about 150-170 degrees. Place the prepared (as above) apples flat on a cooling rack without touching. Bake for 5-9 hours or until completely dry. Place a wooden spoon in the door to prop it open a little to get circulation. Let cool for about an hour and store in an air tight container.