- Apple Sauce
Core, skin and chop apples and put them into a pot. Add enough water to
cover the bottom of the pot. Add cinneman to taste. You can also add other
spices like those found in mulling drinkings. I have not done that; but it
is probably best to make a tea with the mulling spices and put the tea into
the apple sauce (instead of the water).
Put the pot on a stove at low heat. Within 30 min. you'll have apple sauce.
It may help if you use a potato masher.
Some apples are beter than others. Matsu/Crispin apples do not break up
nicely; but Red Delicous ones do. You could always use a food processor to
break up the apple sauce after it has cooled.
Note: I've never been able to get soft fruit like you'll find in a grocery store. Often my fruit is quite dry and hard. Perhaps if the drying is done very
slowly, is it possible to get fruit like the apricots that you'll see in a store.
The taste of the fruit can change with drying. I've had very bland apples that tasted wonderful when dried and also had good tasting apples turn into very bland dried fruit.
Dried fruit can easily last more than one year. I tend to keep mine in the
refigerator because I have space.
Types of Dehydrators
Fruit will not dry evenly within a dehydrator. You often have to move the
fruit trays around and rotate them. Placing the fruit too close together
makes this worse.
- Fan-forced air with a heater
This type of unit will have a fan which moves air over a heater coil. They tend to dry the fruit very quickly (typically < 12 hours). It is hard to not get fruit that is dried to a crisp with one of these!
The fan in my unit (bought at Home Hardware) does not like to start spinning about 1 year after I bought the unit.
- Convection with a heater
These dry the fruit much slower; taking aprox. 24 hours. I much prefer them because there is very little to break.
Preparing the Fruit
The fruit should be firm and not overly ripe. All blemishes should be removed.
At times I have soaked apples in a weak acid solution (lemon juice + water) to
stop the fruit from getting dark / black when being dehydrated. I've stoped
doing this since it seems unnecessary.
- Apricots & Plums
I cut the fruit in half and cut off any blemishes. They rehydrate well and have a very strong taste!
Simply using an apple slicing / coring machine or cut the apple into
slices and then cut out the core in the pieces. Note: I do leave the skin
on and this isn't a problem.
Some apples have a bland taste when dried.
Simple cut the bannana into thick slices. ie 1/4" or about 5mm
Cut the fruit in half, remove the stone and cut it into slices 1/8 to 1/4" thick.
I cut pears in half and then cut thick slices. In some pears it is very easy
to remove the core and in others it is very hard. My fruit trees web page has comments about that. I leave the skin on.
- Kiwi, Strawberries
Simply cut the fruit into slices about 1/8" thick.
Simply cut the tomato in thick slices. ie > 1/4"
Here is some data from fruit that I've dried:
All measurements +/- 10g
- Apples: 1160g whole fruit, 260g in core+peel scraps, 80g dried fruit produced
5 whole medium apples weigh aprox. 700g
- Apricots: 6 quarts makes 29g of dried fruit
- Bannanas (16): 3.18kg whole, 1.33kg skins, 525g dried fruit
(50): 9.26kg whole, 3.00kg skins, 1.50kg dried ($2.40/lb at $0.39/lb for bannanas)
- Kiwi fruit: When dehydrated the taste is not in the least bit sweet. But it does have a "tang" or "zing" to it that I like.
- Plums: No data yet as I was too busy to weight things. My plum trees are
always loaded with fruit. On dry years I go nuts dehydrating them and in
wet years they go mouldy very quickly.
Yes, I've made beef jerky; but never very well.
"Regular ground beef" tends to be very fatty. I fried 770g and poured off
200g of fat!. "Lean" beef had only a very little bit of fat in the pan.
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