Drying apple slices is a great way to preserve the fruit and enjoy it year-round. It’s a simple and easy process that can be done at home with minimal equipment. In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about drying apple slices, from the preparation process to storage tips.
So, let’s get started.
See also: Health benefits of dried apples
How To Dry Apple Slices
Dried apple slices are a nutritious snack that is rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are easy to make at home, and you can customize the flavor by adding different spices or sweeteners. The process involves slicing the apples, drying them until they are crisp, and storing them in an airtight container. Let’s dive into the details of how to dry apple slices.
What you need to dry apple slices
To dry apple slices, you will need the following equipment:
- Sharp knife or apple slicer
- Cutting board
- Lemon juice or citric acid
- Large bowl
- Cooling rack or baking sheet
- Dehydrator or oven
- Airtight container
Preparing the apples
Before slicing the apples, wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. If you are using organic apples, you can skip this step. Then, remove the stem and core of the apple. You can use a corer or a sharp knife to do this.
Cutting the apples
Next, slice the apples into thin, even pieces. You can use a sharp knife or an apple slicer to do this. Aim for a thickness of about 1/8 inch. If you slice the apples too thick, they will take longer to dry, and they may not dry evenly.
Blanching the apples (optional)
Blanching the apple slices before drying them can help preserve their color and texture. To do this, prepare a bowl of lemon juice or citric acid and water. Place the apple slices in the bowl and let them soak for a few minutes. Then, drain the water and pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
Drying the apple slices
To dry the apple slices, you can use a dehydrator or an oven.
If you are using a dehydrator, arrange the apple slices on the trays in a single layer, making sure they don’t overlap. Set the temperature to 135°F (57°C) and let the apples dry for 6-12 hours, depending on their thickness.
If you are using an oven, preheat it to 200°F (93°C). Place the apple slices on a cooling rack or baking sheet and put them in the oven. Leave the oven door slightly open to let the moisture escape. Check the apple slices regularly and flip them over to ensure even drying.
Checking for dryness
To check if the apple slices are dry, remove one piece from the dehydrator or oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, press it with your finger. If it feels dry and crisp, it’s ready. If it still feels soft or moist, put it back in the dehydrator or oven and check again later.
Cooling the apple slices
Once the apple slices are dry, let them cool completely before storing them. This will prevent any residual moisture from building up and spoiling the fruit. You can cool the apple slices on a cooling rack or a baking sheet for about 30 minutes.
Storing the apple slices
To store the apple slices, place them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent moisture from entering. You can store the apple slices at room temperature for up to 1 month or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Uses For Dried Apple Slices
Dried apple slices are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes. Here are some ideas:
- Snack on them as is
- Add them to trail mix or granola
- Chop them up and sprinkle them on oatmeal or yogurt
- Use them in baking recipes, such as apple muffins or cakes
- Rehydrate them and use them in savory dishes, such as stews or stuffing
Drying apple slices is an easy and rewarding process that can help you enjoy the fruit year-round. By following these steps, you can make your own delicious and nutritious dried apple slices at home. So, grab some apples and start drying!
Can I use any type of apple to make dried apple slices?
Yes, you can use any type of apple. However, some varieties, such as Granny Smith, will result in a more tart flavor, while others, such as Honeycrisp, will be sweeter.
Can I use a microwave to dry apple slices?
I don’t recommend using a microwave to dry apple slices as it may not result in even drying and may cause the apple slices to become rubbery.
How do I prevent the apple slices from turning brown?
You can prevent the apple slices from turning brown by blanching them in lemon juice or citric acid before drying.
Can I add spices or sweeteners to the apple slices before drying?
Yes, you can add spices or sweeteners to the apple slices before drying. Some popular options include cinnamon, nutmeg, or honey.
How long do dried apple slices last?
Dried apple slices can last up to 1 month at room temperature or up to 6 months in the refrigerator when stored properly in an airtight container.