Drying apples and pears has become very popular since they make such a lovely snack sweet.
Although we’re exhorted to ‘eat 5 a day’ don’t forget that they’re quite high in sugars and everything in moderation.
The method detailed below is for drying apples or pears in an oven but if you’ve a dehydrator then follow the instructions with your machine. They’re probably best dried using a dehydrator as it can take 12 hours for them to dry.
In warmer, sunnier places like Australia a solar dryer is the sensible option for drying apples or pears. In wet west Wales where we live it would be a source of great amusement!
How to Dry Apples and Pears
- Peel and core the Apples or Pears.
- Apples should be cut into ¼” (5mm) rings and pears into halves or quarters depending on their size.
- Place the pieces into a bowl of cold salted water immediately for a few minutes to prevent discolouration. Use about 2 oz (56 g) of salt to each 1 gallon (4.5 litres) of water.
- Lift out with a perforated spoon and pat fully dry with kitchen roll or using a clean tea towel.
- Place the pieces of fruit in single layers on a drying tray (a grillpan tray will do the job) and cover with a piece of clean muslin to keep the fruit clean whilst it is drying.
- Put into the oven at the lowest temperature you can get – 50°C/120°F/Gas Mark 0 for around 8 to 10 hours. To keep the temperature of the oven low you can leave the door ajar but if you do be careful of children and pets.
- Check that they are fully dry by pressing 2 or 3 pieces together and, if they feel rubbery and spring back into shape, they are ready.
- Remove from the heat source and leave covered for about 12 hours to cool and avoid any condensation in a dry place with some airflow if possible.
- Pack into wooden or cardboard boxes lined with greaseproof paper or, alternatively, airtight jars or containers and store in a very dry place.