Straight from the English Country Life blog, you can find out how to utilise your whole apple haul with this tasty autumn snack.
“One of the earliest signs of autumn coming must be the apples ripening in the orchard (and the wretched wasps going for them).
We planned our orchard oh so carefully:
- We considered sizes of trees and got the right rootstocks.
- We considered uses of the apples and got mixes of juicers, eaters and cookers
- We considered pollination and got compatible pollination groups – we even got crab apple trees to ensure they pollinated well
With your apples you can have:
- Dry apples
- Make cider
- Make cider vinegar
- Can apple pie filling
- Make our own pectin
We do love dried apple rings (fortunately), so this post is about how we make them in bulk.
First up we dehydrate a lot of apples – about 20 pounds at a time, multiple times. That’s a vast amount of peeling, coring and slicing. So we have a device for it – the Apple Master from Lakeland.
When the whole apple is peeled, pull it off and you find it has been cored.
You will also notice the apple has been neatly sliced into a spiral. A quick slice from on edge to the middle and we get perfectly even apple rings. This is a great help in drying because uneven slices take different times to dry and need constant watching.
Now we could just dry the rings as they are, but they will often turn very brown in the air. This isn’t a problem but it can be unsightly. The normal way to prevent this is to dip in lemon juice, but when you are using a couple of pints for each batch – and doing many batches, lemon juice gets expensive. We use and are happy with a much cheaper alternative. Citric acid (the acid found in lemon juice).
Lemon juice is basically a 5% citric acid solution. 50g dissolved in a litre of water is pretty much it (or a desert spoon per pin roughly). We use citric acid for everything from home brewed wine, to homemade sweets to, bizarrely, home cleaning materials. A quick dunk stops the apple rings browning.
The next step is to dehydrate. We use a Circular Food Dehydrator with timer and thermostat. This allows us to fill it (and it takes a huge load), adjust the settings, and get on with other jobs.
We find that 15 pounds of apples fills the dehydrator perfectly. Given the thickness we get, 12 hours at 60C gets them just right – Chewy and dry enough not to spoil.
After drying 15 pounds of apples they fit neatly into two 1.5 litre Kilner jars.
How long do they last? Well, I’m not really sure, but they haven’t gone off yet, and these were dried last year and still taste great!
So all we are left with is the peel and cores. Of course, we do not waste, so, as a minimum, these will get composted, but in fact we will use these to make liquid pectin.
admin 3rd September 2015
Posted In: Uncategorised