Apple chips - make Autumn last a little longer

I love summer, but one of the great things about Fall is the apples.

We are lucky here to have an organic pick-your-own farm only 10 minutes away - Waddell Apples. They use clay as a spray and even their non-organic apples are only sprayed once or twice a year.  They grow some less common varieties too, like Lobo.

We went picking a few weeks ago and I've been busy making yummy things with them.  My favourite is apple pie, using crust made with my own rendered organic lard - there is no better pie crust than one made with lard - super flaky and delicious.  

I've also been making apple chips - dehydrated apple slices.

Way cheaper than store bought packets and I know the apples aren't full of pesticides.  

Super easy to make.

The job is much easier with the following equipment, although you could make do with a knife and an oven.

An apple slicer/peeler/corer is very handy and speeds things up immeasurably.  Get a good metal one - this gets some real wear and tear and you'll bust up a cheapie one in no time. Get one with a metal clamp - a suction cup or plastic clamp aren't going to cut it and will enrage you in no time. Also, I prefer the one with the built in clamp - some have a seperate clamp that I find is hard to set up and slips a lot.

Here are a few that are of this type - they're not very pricey and you will get value for your money in time saved and nice even slices:


Clamp this to your counter or table. It's handy if there is a lip you can get behind with the underside of the clamp.  I set mine by the edge and set up a basket underneath to catch the peels.

A dehydrator is great too - built in trays, fast even drying and low electricity use compared to an oven. I have one made by Mr. Coffee, but there are lots out there - just make sure you get one with a circulating fan and it's nice to have the tray to make fruit leather too.  Rummage sales are a good place to get these as people get one then don't use it - they're nuts! I use mine for dehydrating herbs too - takes less than an hour. Also, I just made dried tomatoes with mine for the first time.

Get a big bowl ready with water and a few tablespoons of lemon juice or a bit of citric acid - this keeps the apples from browning.

Start with the largest, roundest apples you have. 

Spear the end of your apple onto your apple thingy and turn the handle.  Try to be as centred as possible and get it in as far as you can.  Hold the base if it shifts. Push if you find the peeler is digging in. 

Go all the way through and pull off your slices - they are in a nice spiral.  Break the spiral apart and separate the slices into your bowl of water, making sure they don't stick together so the lemon water gets all over. They only need to soak for a few minutes. I get about a tray's worth done at a time - maybe 2 or 3 apples. 

Once you've done a few apples, take them out of the water and lay them out on the trays - close together to maximize space but not touching so air gets all around them.  If you like, add a bot of cinnamon or whatever you like at this point - we like them plain.

When you're full up, turn on the dehydrator. It takes the good part of a day to dehydrate them - rotate the trays and switch em up every so often as you'll find the bottom trays get done faster. Check for done ness by feeling them - they should still be a bit pliable but not feel damp or like they are at all squishy.

Lot them cool off completely and then bag them up.  Not sure how long they last, they get eaten quickly but I've had them last for a number of months.


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