Country Place Drying Apples Instructions

Find tips and tricks for drying apples. Dried apple fruits keep for years.
Dry apple fruits are delicious as snacks and can be easily reconstituted for many recipes.
Follow a few easy instructions and start drying your apple fruits today.
Try the back to basics of dehydrating.
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Apple Pies Apple Cakes/Crisps Apple Beverages Dry Apples Apple Guide

Dehydrating Basics

secrets of successful home food drying:

  • Heat - high enough to force out moisture
  • Dry air - to absorb the released moisture
  • Air movement - to carry the moisture away
  • Natural drying, outdoors, requires warm days of 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) or more, low humidity, and control of insects.

  • Oven drying or using a food dehydrator are alternatives for small quantities of food. The energy cost of operating an oven is high, however, compared to the cost of operating an electric food dehydrator.

Food Preparation

Note: 20 lbs Fresh Apples=2 lbs Dry Apples

  1. Wash the fruit thoroughly Use "elbow grease" and really scrub the fruit. A drop of detergent in the wash water can help loosen dirt. For an even higher margin of safety, use a dilute chlorine bleach solution because chlorine is an effective disinfectant. (Use 1 tablespoon household bleach in a gallon of cool water.) Rinse the fruit really well with clean water after using a detergent or chlorine wash.

  2. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently Use soap and warm water. Wash hands before starting the cutting and juicing, and frequently during these steps as well. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds .

  3. Wash your knives, boards, utensils, and juice making equipment thoroughly Use soap and warm water. Then use the dilute chlorine bleach solution for another disinfecting step. (Use 1 tablespoon household bleach in a gallon of cool water.) Rinse well with clean water afterwards. Make sure the containers you are putting the fresh juice into are really clean. Best is to sterilize them like you were making jams or jellies .

  4. After peeling and coring/slicing dip apple slices in salted water (2% NaCl) before further treatment in order to prevent browning due to contact of tissues with oxygen from air.

  5. Dipping is an alternative to blanching used to prevent apples from turning brown. Lemon juice, ascorbic acid, or commercial products containing ascorbic or citric acid may be used for dipping. For instance, dipping sliced fruit pieces in 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid crystals per cup of water or directly in lemon juice for three to five minutes will prevent browning.

Drying Methods

  1. Drying Natural Sun Drying
    Dry in the sun by placing slices of food on a clean tray with sides and covering with cheesecloth or fine netting. If possible, place a small fan near the drying tray to promote air circulation. Turn food once a day. Dry until the food has lost most of its moisture (apple fruits will be chewy).

    NOTE: Sun drying is not recommended in cloudy or humid weather. The temperature should reach 90 degrees F by noon and the humidity should be less than 60 percent. This method will tak 36 - 48 hrs.

  2. Oven Drying
    Dry food in an oven that can be maintained at 140 degrees F or lowest setting. Leave door ajar 2 to 3 inches. Place a fan in front of the oven to blow air across the open door. Spread the food in a single layer on racks or cookie sheet. Check fruit often. Turn slices over to dry more evenly. This method will take 6 - 12 hours.
  3. Dehydrator Appliance
    Follow manufacturer instructions.

Reconstituting Dry Apples

One cup of dried fruit will yield approximately 1 1/2 cups of reconstituted fruit. Time for reconstituting will depend on the size and shape of the food and the food itself.

Generally most dried fruits can be reconstituted within 8 hours. To prevent growth of microorganisms, dried fruits should be reconstituted in the refrigerator.

Reconstituted fruits should be cooked in the water in which they were soaking.

Dried Apple Fruit Care Tips

All sun-dried fruits and vegetables must be pasteurized to destroy insects. Place dried food evenly in shallow trays no more than 1 inch in depth. Fruits should be heated at 160F for 15 minutes.

Dried fruits must be conditioned prior to storage. Conditioning is the process of evenly distributing moisture present in the dried fruit to prevent mold growth.

Condition dried fruit by placing in a plastic or glass container, sealing and storing for 7 to 10 days. The dried fruit in the containers should be shaken daily to distribute moisture. If condensation occurs, place the fruit in the oven or dehydrator for more drying and repeat the conditioning process.

Cool dried food should be placed in a closed container that has been washed and dried before storing. Home canning jars are good containers for storing dried foods.

Store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Dried foods should be used within 3 to 6 months as they will lose their flavor and color to some extent during storage.

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