Fall is for Apples
I know a lot of people are under the impression that Fall is Pumpkin Spice season. And although I have been known to indulge in a good pumpkin spice doughnut every now and then, fall is apple season, especially here in west Michigan.
There are a lot of ways that I like to add apples to my diet in the fall. Snacking on slices of a freshly picked honeycrisp apple is hard to beat. And I will forever be grateful to my wife for teaching me the magic of adding very thin apple slices to a turkey sandwich. But I think my favorite is dehydrated “apple chips.”
Karen and I served for a while on the board of a local Christian camp. Every fall one of the staff members would present each board member with a bag of “apple chips” that she had made. I was immediately hooked, and we began to dehydrate our own apples. We now enjoy eating and gifting them to others.
We are fortunate here in west Michigan to have many apple orchards close by. The local Farmers Market has numerous vendors selling different varieties of apples in the Fall. But my favorite way to get apples for dehydrating is to go directly to one of the orchards that sells to the public and look for a bag of “seconds”, apples that are perfectly good to eat but that may not be perfect on the outside. Because we are going to be peeling, coring, and slicing the apples before we dry them, seconds work perfectly well.
We use a cast iron apple peeler/corer/slicer to prep the apples. This hand cranked machine is fascinating in its design. The result of running the apple through this machine is a “coil” of apple. I then put that on a cutting board and make one vertical slice all the way through the coil. This produces that individual slices that work best for dehydrating. The best thing about using the apple peeler/corer/slicer is that the slices are uniform in thickness. This is important in dehydrating.
Next, I arrange the apple slices on the trays of the dehydrator and turn it on to run overnight. First thing the next morning I check the apples to see how dry they are. My first couple of attempts at dehydrating apples I pulled them too quickly. They tasted great, but they did not have the crispness that I was looking for. Let them dry very thoroughly (but of course, your taste may vary). If the apples are not crisp enough, let the dehydrator work its' magic for longer.
When finished, we put the dried apples in a Tupperware container with a good seal and then snack on them until they are gone. They also make a great addition to a salad (I love a salad with dark, leafy greens, grilled chicken breast, and dehydrated apple pieces). As I said earlier, the apple chips also make a great seasonal gift.
What is your favorite way to enjoy apples in the Fall? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we’ll share some “community ideas” in an upcoming blog.
By Robby Richardson