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Apple Harvest

July 1, 2014
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Yes, you read that right.  Here in the inland valleys of  Southern California we’re picking apples.  In the mountains just east of us, the crop comes in the Fall when one might expect it.  Being the Harvest Manager, I don’t question these wily ways of nature.  Mine is not to reason why, as they say.   The Gardener has delivered about 10 pounds of apples to the kitchen.  This is an interesting figure, as it’s too many to eat out of hand before they spoil and too few to employ the Squeezo in applesauce production.

Sounds like a job for the dryer.  So, last night, quicker than you can say Doc Martin, the Harvest Manager loaded up the dryer with apple rings.

Apple drying

It’s a pretty straight forward process.  Wash the apples.  Core them.  I use a corer for this task, but a thin knife could also work.  Slice the cored apple into 1/4″ rings and place onto the dryer.  I do not peel the apples, largely in order to save time.  I also do not “prepare” them with sulpher, ascorbic acid, or syrup.  These methods reduce the tendency of apples to turn brown.   My strategy is to get them from whole apples to drying slices as quickly as possible, thus minimizing the opportunity to brown.

The dryer starts at 150 degrees for the first couple of hours then down to 130 degrees until the slices are dry.  I proof them in a sealed container for a day or two after they come out of the dryer.  This evens out the moisture content.  These particular apples are likely to see a bit of backpacking this summer as well as a few training hikes in advance of the trip.   Yum.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2014 8:44 pm

    Hi, Cindy. I wonder if proofing works for other fruits and veggies. I have dried sliced zucchini in our dryer and was worried that some were moister than others and might mold in storage.

    • July 11, 2014 9:01 am

      Proofing, also called conditioning, can definitely work for vegetables. Try putting the zucchini in a sealed container for 2 or 3 days. Shake the container once a day, and keep an eye out for condensation. If condensation forms inside the lid of the container, the pieces are too moist and need to go back in the dryer.

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