Dried apples are a tasty, high-fiber snack, perfect on their own, as part of trail mix, baked in cookies and other confections, or served in oatmeal. However, commercially-prepared dried fruits are expensive, and buying your own food dehydrator even more so. That doesn't have to be a problem; With a little knowledge and a few basic kitchen tools, you can easily make your own dried apples at home with a minimum of fuss.
Peel the apples. Though any type of vegetable peeler will do, a ceramic blade or serrated steel blade peeler is especially effective at cutting through fruit skins without damaging the flesh, reports the November 2007 issue of "Cook's Illustrated" magazine.
Cut each apple into fourths and, using a paring knife or other small knife, cut out the cores and discard them. Use an apple corer optionally, but you'll still need to cut the fruit into fourths.
Combine the lemon juice and water in a large bowl. Feed the apples through a food processor fitted with a slicing blade. This will produce thin slices of apple. Transfer these to the water-juice mix and soak for at least 30 seconds but not more than 2 minutes. Any longer, and the fruit will water-log, reports Food Network star Alton Brown.
Remove the fruit from the water and lay on paper towels to dry. Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, usually marked "warm." Once the oven has preheated, lay out the apple slices on a single layer on your cooling racks.
Place the cooling racks in your oven. Dry the fruit between 4 and 10 hours. Since thinly-sliced fruits dry out faster, start checking after two hours. When your apples have reduced in size by about half, they are ready.
- "Cook's Illustrated"; Vegetable Peelers; November 2007
- "I'm Just Here for the Food"; Alton Brown; 2002
- Colorado State University Fact Sheet: Leathers and Jerkies
- Cool your fruit completely before storing. It should feel dry to the touch when cool; if it doesn't, it isn't dry enough to retard microbial growth and needs more time in the oven.
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