Drying apples is one of my favorite ways to store apples over the winter when I find a fabulous deal on apples in the fall. I keep my Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator set up in the basement just in case I need to dry something. My kids love to help me fill up the trays.
Apples are number one on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, a list of fruit and vegetable crops heavily sprayed with pesticides. With organic apples costing about $1 to $1.50 more than conventional apples, I take advantage of any sales I find on organic apples. Last week, my local Amelia’s Grocery Outlet had 3 lb. bags of organic apples about 2 1/4″ in diameter for $2.97 making them $.99/lb.
While apples store pretty well in my basement pantry, I knew these apples probably wouldn’t last longer than a month. Sometimes, my kids eat the apples up, and other times, they hang around a little too long. Not wanting to waste my frugal find, I decided to dry the organic apples as slices in my Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator which comes with 4 trays.
My kids love to help with drying fruits and vegetables. The bigger kids can slice the produce while the younger ones like my 5 year old son fill up the dehydrator trays for me. I like to use the OXO Apple Corer and Divider to speed up the preparation of the apple slices; I toss it in the dishwasher when I’m finished.
The organic apple slices took about 18 hours to dry at 125 degrees. Thinner slices would take slightly less time. I store the dried apple slices in a half gallon mason jar in my kitchen cabinet. The dried slices can be used as is; I like to break them up a little before tossing them into oatmeal or muffins. They can also be rehydrated and softened in a little bit of water; I use the water in whatever recipe I’m putting the apple slices into to prevent wasting the flavor.