Dehydrating Apples
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Sue Markwood
(suemarkwood) - F
Dehydrating Apples on 04/03/2010 17:07:21 MDT Print View

What is the best choice of apple for dehydrating and getting sweet results?

BTW, I'm a new member, hence the duplication of postings...nevermore!

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Dehydrating Apples on 04/03/2010 18:38:50 MDT Print View

Apples might be different in the US to here in Australia, however I like to use Royal Gala, once you have cut them for dehyrdation I squeeze a little lemon on them.

Cheers

JJ Mathes
(JMathes) - F

Locale: Southeast US
dehydrating apples on 04/03/2010 19:11:12 MDT Print View

Sue- I eat a lot of dehydrated apples. Before drying a batch I will buy 1-2 of each variety available at the store and do a test dry before committing to a larger amount. I've found apple flavor varies by location and season. I personally prefer a tart apple like a granny smith over sweeter apples, but that's just me. I always choose a firm apple for drying. Sweeter apples like a golden delicious are good.

During the drying process try sprinkling cinnamon over a few, dried pears are good, I recommend a firm bosc.

Sue Markwood
(suemarkwood) - F
apples on 04/04/2010 13:23:25 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips! I never thought about pears & I'll bet they are fabulous....lemon to keep the brown away~ smart!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: pears on 04/04/2010 15:28:58 MDT Print View

I purchase Bartlett pear halves by the #10 can, then drain and slice those onto my food dehydrator. Depending on some of the variables, it will take 8-10 hours to produce "pear chips" that are halfway chewey and halfway brittle. Packed into a ziplock bag, those will be my trail snacks for several days.

--B.G.--

JJ Mathes
(JMathes) - F

Locale: Southeast US
dehydrating pears on 04/04/2010 17:28:19 MDT Print View

Bob- I've dried the canned pears too and they dry just fine, taste good too. The canned pears including the unsweetened ones are a lot sweeter than fresh pears.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
drying fruit on 04/04/2010 18:14:05 MDT Print View

I love Fuji, Royal Gala and another variety called Tantation for drying. For pears I usually lean toward Anjou or Bartlett and for peaches, I like to dry canned unless they are in season. Off-season the imported "fresh" peaches we get here are flavorless. I can't wait until the local plums, nectarines, cherries and peaches are out because I plan to dry quite a bit of them even though I won't be on the trail much, if at all, this year - we are expecting in less than 9 weeks. Anyway, I like to make the dried fruit for my son's school lunches in the winter. It's much better than the sulphite ridden commercially dried fruit.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Apples on 04/04/2010 19:18:31 MDT Print View

Fuji and gala are best, in my opinion. I tried red delicious once and was not thrilled.

Remember, soak your apple slices in a dilute lemon juice (2 cups water and 1/4 cup lemon juice) for about 2 minutes before you put them on the dehydrator to prevent them from turning brown.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
pre-treating apples on 04/05/2010 05:40:00 MDT Print View

Lime juice works well too... as does a citric acid product called Fruit Fresh.

Chris Collins
(hobbitling) - F
dehydrating apples on 04/07/2010 19:24:33 MDT Print View

I soak mine in a lemon juice and honey solution. both help to prevent browning and add nice flavor. I've heard tea works well too. so maybe slice them into a nice black tea with some lemon and honey.

then you could sip the leftover apple iced tea.

Sue Markwood
(suemarkwood) - F
Pears on 04/08/2010 18:20:54 MDT Print View

I took the advice of using canned pears. Not only are they yummy sweet, but no problem with treating to prevent browning.

So I have pears, bananas, almonds & clif bars for snacks. Dehydrated Easter Ham, will combine w/instant potatoes & dried red bell peppers and chicken bouillon for soup; dehydrated beef brisket, combined with dehydrated green bell peppers and cuban sauce; last night is dehydrated hard boiled eggs (let you know how that turns out) and dried black beans cooked with olive oil, cumin, garlic and salt, stuffed into pita bread. Wish us luck!

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
apple varieties on 04/20/2010 15:15:53 MDT Print View

to your original question, which apples to dry?

You can't go wrong with any apples, but here are some varieties and their characteristics:

Golden delicious: very sweet, tasty, white flesh, a great apple for eating or drying.

Red Delicious: somewhat tough skin, but if you peel them, that is not a factor. A bumpy non-round shape, so they don't peel perfectly like a rounder apple would, but who cares if some peel is left on. Not as flavorful as some apples. They do well in controlled atmosphere storage, so if you are going to dry apples out of season, these are a good one.

Rome: An old variety, has red veins in the flesh, so it looks strange dried, but tastes very good. they don't do well in controlled atmosphere storage, so get them only months shortly after the picking season. Round form, so they peel well.

Winesap: An old variety, more tart than others so its considered a good one for pies.

Granny Smith: a greenish apple, round in shape, sweet, dries well and often has less browning than other varieties

Braeburn, Gala, winter banana, and many other varieties, equally good to dry. There are no bad apples for drying.

Sodium metabisulfite is used commercially to prevent browning of dried fruit and to extend shelf life. This is the same stuff used in making wine to kill the yeast when the right level of alcohol is reached. You can get it at a wine making supply store, or on ebay in food grade for less than $10 for a pound. Using sulfite, dried apples can have more moisture, and not spoil. You mix a small amount in water, and spray it on the sliced apples. It should have no smell or taste on the fruit if done right, and if you get too much on, you let it air out and it will dissipate until you can't smell or taste it.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: apple varieties on 04/20/2010 15:21:31 MDT Print View

Bob Shaver touched on the point about apple skins. During dehydration, the apple skin acts like a waterproof barrier, so the soft part of the apple doesn't dehydrate well next to the skin. Some people would peel the apple to eliminate that problem. On the other hand, if you leave the skin on before you slice the apples, you will end up with dry pieces that are recognizable as from an apple, and you don't mistake that food bag as being from a potato.
--B.G.--

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Dehydrating Apples on 04/20/2010 21:00:04 MDT Print View

"Sodium metabisulfite is used commercially to prevent browning of dried fruit and to extend shelf life."

I've never tried a commercially dried standard brand fruit that didn't taste horrible! I buy only organic dried fruit with no sulfur added (love those organic Turkish apricots!). I won't use the sulfur stuff for home-dried--I want to be able to eat it! The browning affects appearance but not the taste.

If the brown appearance really turns you off, dip the fruit in a citric acid solution after slicing. The citric acid prevents most of the browning, adds vitamin C (which is what citric acid is) and is really cheap. It won't look quite as pretty as the sulfured stuff, but it will taste a lot better. You can find powdered citric acid in most drug stores and health food stores. Note--skip the "Fruit Fresh" variety that is mostly sugar.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
sulphur in fruit on 04/21/2010 09:18:13 MDT Print View

" I've never tried a commercially dried standard brand fruit that didn't taste horrible!"

No argument there, the stuff in supermarkets with all the colorful graphics are lousy fruit, and I don't know why they don't use a better grade in those bags. I was the QA manager for a 6 plant company that dried fruit, mostly apples, in the six plants. We made dried apples mainly for commercial bakeries, where they used dried apples to make apple pies. Our apples were sold mostly in 50lb boxes. At one plant, we dried 100 tons of fruit a day.

There are all kinds of grades of each kind of fruit, and the apricots sold in the half or one pound plastic bags are green, over sulfured, and not sweet. If you ever tasted a "choice" grade apricot, you would be pleasantly pleased. Judging by the apricots I've seen in name brand bags, there must be a "crap" grade that I wasn't aware of.

If the system in the drying plant is under control, sulfur can be applied that you can't taste or smell, and it allows the fruit to be shelf stable with a higher moisture content, which some people like. But the stuff in supermarkets is crap, so the stuff you dry yourself should be much better. I put a little sulfur on my fruit and everybody loves it. Each to his own. If you are a zero sulfur regimen, don't drink wine.

Sue Markwood
(suemarkwood) - F
more apples on 04/23/2010 09:38:25 MDT Print View

Great comments around apples, sulfites and the newest grade of standards, the "crap" grade! Looking forward to the Northern California farmers markets to pick up the fresh apricots.