We’ve eaten fresh long apple skin peels, made delicious applesauce, and rich apple butter. Here are two other ways that I use to preserve my apples – apple chips and apple pie filling. The tips I give are from my own personal experience.
I love my food dehydrator. The first time I needed one, I borrowed my Mom’s dehydrator that she bought back in the early 70s. It worked very well but it was pretty loud. I finally bought a newer dehydrator and I love how quiet it is. It also has a larger capacity than the older one, so I can process more produce per batch.
If you don’t have a food dehydrator, you can use your oven but you’ll need to be a bit more vigilant about checking on the apples so they don’t burn. The dehydrator allows you to use lower temperatures than most ovens will permit so you can ignore them for a few hours before checking to see if they’re done.
There’s nothing fancy when it comes to apple chips.
The biggest trick, in my opinion, for the best apple chip is to cut the slices as thin as you can manage. That is why I like using a food processor. It allows for a consistent thickness of all the slices and it also allows you to quickly slice a lot of apples. If you have boxes of fruit to go through, speed is something that cannot be underrated. You can also use a sharp knife to cut slices as thin as you can manage.
Spread the slices out on a tray from your food dehydrator and follow your dehydrator instructions for the right setting. If using your oven, place apple slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Heat oven to 200 degrees and allow the apples to heat for 1.5 – 2 hours. Or, for a little faster time, heat oven to 225 and cook apples for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Optional: Before baking or placing in the dehydrator, you can sprinkle the slices with cinnamon or another mixture of spices to give them extra flavor.
Pumpkin spice mix is yummy:
- 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cloves
Apple Pie Filling
I don’t really have a recipe for apple pie filling. I’m sure there are wonderful recipes around but my approach is to simply place as many sliced apples in a bowl as I plan to put in my pie, sprinkle with as much cinnamon as I think would be a good amount for a pie (a couple of teaspoons?), add a couple of teaspoons of sugar (have you noticed I don’t like adding much sugar to my apple products?), add a couple of tablespoons of flour, and then mix and place in pie crust.
If I’m planning to preserve and bottle pie filling, I only add the cinnamon before packing and processing. I save the sugar and flour to add later when I open the jars to use the apples. That way I can use the apples for a variety of baked goods. If I use them for apple crisp, I don’t add any sugar at all since the topping has enough sugar to make for a sweet dessert.
I love the fall for many reasons. The cool weather, the falling leaves… and the delicious, fresh apples!
Click BACK for how I make
APPLESAUCE and APPLE BUTTER