By way of friends with trees and really good finds on organic, local apples, we ended up with a bushel and a half of Granny Smith's this year. Boy, were we thankful and excited! Then we realized just how much effort it takes to preserve 65 pounds of apples. We made several batches of late harvest crisp, apple pies, and slow cooker spiced applesauce, but we still had twenty pounds of apples on our hands.
By the way? Processing 65 pounds of apples wouldn't have been possible without our shiny new toy: what the children call The Amazing Apple Machine.
Before I go on about how amazing this apple machine is, I really wished we had invested in the kind with the clamp base and not the suction one. The suction looses it's grip fairly easily which is especially frustrating for little helpers. It didn't deter them too much, though.
This amazing apple machine peels, cores, and slices an apple in five seconds flat. How have I lived without one for so long? I might have been able to campaign for prop 37 with all that extra time. Then it would have passed and the world would have been a better place, but because I wasted all that time peeling, chopping, and coring without an amazing machine, GMOs are still not going to be labeled and it's all my fault. Wait. What? Sorry. Getting back to apples now. I really am going to show you how to make those chips. Readysetgo.
We were able to process ten pounds of apples at a time. It filled the 9-tray dehydrator (don't worry, you can make these in the oven too. We'll get to that soon) and a 1-gallon glass jar where they were stored once they were done.
Prep time: 30 minutes, bake/dehydrate time: about 8-12 hours, fills a 1-gallon jar
- 10 pounds apples (Granny Smiths work well)
- juice from 3 lemons
- Pour 1/3 of the lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Peel, core, and slice apples, one at a time, and cut in half (see below). Honestly, to get the slices thin enough, you need an apple peeler/corer/slicer. I mean, you can slice them manually if your knife is sharp and your apples are firm, but it will take you forever. The slices need to be about 1/4 inch thin.
- Gently stir the apple slices around in the bowl to coat with lemon juice after each apple has been processed. The juice keeps the apples from turning brown. When you are half way through your bag of apples, pour another 1/3 portion of the lemon juice over the slices and gently toss. When all apples have been sliced, sprinkle the last of the lemon juice over the apples.
- Lay the apples out on your dehydrator trays or on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Be sure they are in a single layer (see below). If using a dehydrator, set to 105º and dehydrate apples for 8-12 hours, or until they are the consistency you like them (we like ours a little bend-ble but all the way dry). If using an oven, set it at the lowest possible temperature and bake about 12-18 hours. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place like the pantry. They will stay good for at least one year (but in my house they last about one week).
And just what to we do with all those peels and cores? Let's just say our hens love apple day. Of course, if you don't have chickens, the scraps make great compost.
|Taking chicken scraps down to "the ladies"|