If you’ve wanted to know how to dehydrate apples, here’s your tutorial. We love dehydrated apples around here. They’re a great snack and store really well if you can keep them hidden so that the little people don’t eat them all up the day after you dry them!
To dehydrate apples, you’ll need a few supplies. First you’ll need a dehydrator. You can use a solar dehydrator like the sun oven with drying trays if you want. I just use my Excalibur. It’s fast and easy and it holds a lot of apples.
You’ll also need some apples. If you want to make your life easier you’ll need an apple peeler, corer, slicer tool and if you want your apples to look nice and not brown when they’re done you’ll want some type of food color preserver. I use Fruit Fresh, but I’ve been told you can also crush up vitamin C tablets in water or use lemon juice in water to get the same result.
Ready then? Let’s get started.
Step one: Wash the apples. I forgot to take a picture of apples floating in my sink, but I’m sure you can visualize it if you try. ;)
Step two: Assemble your helpers if you have any around. The kids usually come out of the woodwork when the apple peeler tool is getting clamped to the counter. They feed on apple peelings, so they’re perfectly content to flock to the apple peeling duty.
Step three: Prepare your Fruit Fresh soaking solution. The ratio is one Tablespoon of Fruit Fresh to one quart of water. I use two quarts and two tablespoons of Fruit Fresh in a big bowl. Mix well so it dissolves in your bowl.
Step four: Clamp your apple peeler to the work surface and attach an apple. We use the edge of the counter. Some of these peeler/corers attach with a suction cup. I’m suspicious of suction cups so I bought one with a clamp. The suction cup ones probably work fine anyway.
Step five: Have one of your helpers turn the handle on the peeler tool, sending the apple through the peeler/corer/cutter while the other helper catches the peelings to eat. Or just send the peelings, cores, other apple scrap to the chickens or compost pile. Some folks like to save their apple peelings and make apple jelly. I keep thinking I’m going to do this, but never have.
Step six: Once the apple is through the peeler tool, you have a spiral cut apple with no peel and a hole in the middle. Trim off any extra peel that didn’t come off if you want at this point. The peel doesn’t hurt you when it’s dried, it just turns out kind of hard. I prefer my dried apples with as little peel as possible. Trim off any bad parts of the apple, and cut the whole spiral in half. This leaves you with a bunch of apple half circles.
Step seven: Drop the apple pieces into the bowl of Fruit Fresh solution. Separate the pieces from each other so all sides of your apple slices get exposed to the soak solution. They don’t need to be in here very long, but it also doesn’t hurt them to stay in until you’ve filled your bowl with apple slices. They do start getting soggy if you leave them in there for an hour, though. You know how I know that, right? I usually wait until the bowl is about full, then move on to step eight.
Step eight: Pull the apple slices out of the soak solution and place them on the trays. If you take just a little time and like a good puzzle, you can fit quite a few pieces on a tray.
Step nine: Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 8 hours or overnight and they should be done. Now the apple eating helpers come back out of the woodwork to test the end product. Who’s been eating off the front corner already???
Variations: Different varieties of apples give you different flavor dried apples. “Delicious” varieties are fairly mild flavored, Gala or Cameo a little stronger flavor with a nice hint of tart, but tart apples are just not okay in my opinion for dehydrating! Yes, I’ve dried some Granny Smith, but they were pretty tough to eat–the sour only got more sour.
You can sprinkle cinnamon or a cinnamon/sugar mixture on your apples before drying. I didn’t like this very well as the cinnamon is very dry and with the apples already being dry, I didn’t like the extra dryness of the cinnamon on them. The taste was good though. Try dipping them in apple juice after the fruit fresh solution for a little stronger flavor. If you want a sweet treat, sprinkle dry jello powder on the apples just before dehydrating. It’s a bit messy, but really tasty.
Storing Dehydrated Apples: I store our dried apples in mason jars. We eat through these pretty quickly, so I have no need to store them for long term storage, but if you want to store them for longer term, you could use a FoodSaver jar sealer or an oxygen absorber in each jar to keep them fresh longer. Foodsaver bags don’t work–the apples can dry hard enough they’ll poke holes in the bags and let air in. Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers would work. They’re much stronger.