Alrighty people, you can go down a worm hole of dehydrators, I have owned two and dried apples for about 5+ years. The dehydrator shown is my favorite of the two: Presto Brand, Dehydro Food Dehydrator. (I do not receive any money or compensation for mentioning this dehydrator, I just really like it.) Why is it my fav? The trays are made so you can collapse them and so your dehydrator isn’t so tall and awkward for storage. Also, it has a fan that blows warm air instead of only having a heating element at the bottom. My previous dehydrator only had a heating element and I had to rotate trays every couple of hours, but I don’t have to do that with this dehydrator. The fan is a little loud, but not bad. Another thing that I like, though I haven’t tried yet is that the Dehydro can dry meat as well as fruit and veg. In the owners manual there is a list of additional trays, like if you want to dry fruit leather, you need a different kind of tray made for liquids, or chopped vegetables will need a screened tray. The dehydrators with fans also take a lot less time to dry so you can do batches is less time.
So, how do you go about drying apples? First, go to an orchard or if you local store is having a sale on apples buy a few pounds.
1. Core and peal apples. Generally I cut apples into quarters and cut the core out and then peal the quarters.
2. Cut apples. Once I peal the quarters I cut each quarter in half, and then each of those slices in half again. So you should get about 16 slices per apple.
—You can do steps 1 & 2 in one swoop if you have an apple peeler/corer/cutter tool. I do have one, but I find them to me more of a hassle than I care to deal with.—
3. Acid. Soak your apple slices in pineapple juice, or any other kind of acidic juice. Generally I have a large punch bowl and put my juice in it and as I slice apples I just toss them in and occasionally stir the juice around to make sure the apples get juice on all sides. Once I run out of room in the bowl then I start putting apples on the dehydrator racks.
4. Put apples on dehydrator racks. Do not overlap apples, though they can touch. If you have them touching on all sides or overlapping they will not dry evenly.
(pictured is my old dehydrator)
5. Plug in the dehydrator once all the racks are filled and the lid is on. Follow drying instructions in your particular manual.
6. Finished apples! Pictured are apples from my first dehydrator. They always turned out darker than the ones I get from my new dehydrator. I think this is because it took a lot longer for them to dry. My new dehydrator gives me apples that are pretty much the original flesh color with very little browning. Either way they still taste great though.
7. Cool Down. Place apples on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. It doesn’t take long for them to cool down. Just remember that as they cool they will become more stiff, less flexible, less chewy.
8. Snack or Bag them. You can eat them right away or bag them. I found that with my dehydrator I can just stuff my four racks of apples into a freezer quart sized bag. I then write the date on the bag and stick them in the cupboard for later eating.