When fall arrives, people flock to the apple orchards to pick apples to make homemade apple pie or some other seasonal specialty. They often come home with more than enough apples to make five pies. Some industrious people will make up the pies and freeze them but others look at the apples and wonder why they would want to make that many pie crusts. As a result, they need a method of storing apples. Dehydrating apples is much easier than making a pie or canning apples. Dried apples last much longer than fresh apples. Dehydrated apples can be saved for apple pies or other home-baked goodies during the long cold days of winter or they can be used as a yummy but healthy snack.
When you get the apples home, clean them thoroughly. Peel and core the apples and then cut them into 1/4" thick slices (they can either be cut in traditional wedges or they can be cut as rounds.
Soak the apples in an ascorbic acid mixture or a lemon juice mixture to prevent them from turning brown.
Note: Follow the manufacturer's instructions if using ascorbic acid. Lemon juice can be mixed with water at the rate of 1 tsp per quart.
Spread the apples out on clean dry towels to absorb the excess fluid from their bath.
Organize the apples close together on the dehydrator trays without letting them touch each other. Turn on the dehydrator. The apples will take 6-12 hours to become slightly crispy. If there are more than three trays in the dehydrator it is a good idea to rotate the trays. Note: Most manufacturers list recommendations for tray rotation in their instructions.
Ideally, dehydrated apples can be stored in a sealed container in a cool dark location. However, to prevent the risk of spoilage and to preserve the fresh taste of the dehydrated fruit, consider storing them in the freezer.
Completely cover the apples with hot water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Once rehydrated, the apples can be directly substituted into many apple recipes without any modifications to the recipe.
To prevent the apples from sticking to the dehydrator trays, pre-spray the trays with a non-stick spray.