How to Dehydrate Apples

I didn’t plan to make apple chips this weekend, but I was given six pounds of Pink Lady apples for free. Some of them were a little bruised, so I knew I had to use them quickly. The dehydrator was still on the counter from making banana chips, so I figured I’d make apple chips. I absolutely LOVE apple chips! In fact, I’m eating them as I write this – and I have to be careful not to eat the whole jar in one sitting. Unfortunately, apples don’t grow here in the Low Country, so I have to get mine from the store or the farmer’s market. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to go apple picking (it’s that time now), consider making apple chips with some of your bounty.

APPLE CHIPS

  • Apples with good flavor (don’t use gala apples as they won’t have much taste dried)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups water

1. In a medium bowl, mix 4 cups water with 1/4 cup lemon juice. I used bottled, concentrated lemon juice. Fresh is fine, too.

2. Core the apples or slice around the core. I don’t have an apple corer, so I just cut around the core.

Apple sliced around the core

Apple sliced around the core

3. Unless you plan to rehydrate the apples later, leave the skins on. The added fiber will make the apple chips an even healthier snack. Slice the apples no thicker than 1/4 inch, and be sure to remove any bruised areas.

Sliced apples

Sliced apples

4. As you cut each apple, dunk the slices in the lemon water so that each slice gets covered. This will help reduce browning. Remove the slices from the lemon water with a slotted spoon after a couple seconds.

Apples after a lemon water bath

Apples after a lemon water bath

5. Arrange the apple slices on your dehydrator trays. My five round trays accommodated three pounds of apples, so I had to dry them in two batches. If you wish to add cinnamon or another spice, sprinkle it on now. (I dried mine plain.)

Apples ready to dehydrate

Apples ready to dehydrate

6. Follow the instructions for your dehydrator regarding drying time. My dehydrator is small and has no temperature gauge, so my drying time is usually longer than others’. The apples are dry when they are leathery to crisp, and no moisture is seen when broken open. (It’s better to err on the side of over-drying than under-drying.) I like mine very crisp, so I dried them for 12 hours.

Dehydrated apples

Dehydrated apples

7. Let your apple chips cool before putting them up, so there won’t be any condensation (moisture = bad!) in your jar. Store them in a clean, dry glass mason jar in a cool, dark place. Or, if you have a vacuum sealer, you can store them in sealed pouches.

Jarred apple chips

Jarred apple chips

NOTE: I used Pink Lady apples for my apple chips. I’ve never had that type of apple before, so I tasted a fresh slice before drying. They were very tasty. But I will say that Pink Lady apples make THE best apple chips I’ve ever had! As soon as you bite into the chip, your tongue is bombarded with intense apple flavor! I am now on a quest to get more Pink Lady apples!

How do you make apple chips? What’s your favorite apple variety to use? Do you add spices or make them plain?

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