I have had apples coming out of my ears for the past week or so!! You see, while my kids were on fall break, my husband took them up north to my parent's cabin in Pinetop for one job. They were going to pick all of the apples off of their two apple trees. After filling three boxes with apples, they decided the apples at the tops of the trees could remain for the birds. How nice of them.
Based on their appearance, they all suspected the apples to be on the sour side, like granny smith apples. Surprisingly, they are sweet!
As soon as they walked in the door I set to work. You guys. I am still working. There are SO MANY APPLES!!! I don't have enough dehydrators OR crockpots! I decided to just use two methods to preserve apples. I am dehydrating them, thus making apple chips, and I am making applesauce. I considered slicing and freezing, but I envisioned myself forgetting about the frozen apples. Besides, the apple chips and applesauce are incredibly popular at the moment in this house.
Dehydrated Apple Chips
Making the apple chips is so easy. I decided, in the interest of time, I would not peel the apples. I just gave them all a quick wash and sliced them up. I used my mandolin to slice them, sprinkled them with cinnamon, and then placed them on my dehydrator trays. I set the temperature to 135 degrees and the timer to 8 hours and left them. When they were finished in the dehydrator, they were still a little bendy. So, I stuck them in a 200 degree oven for an hour and they got nice and crisp!
To make the applesauce, I just followed my recipe for homemade applesauce here on Oh Lardy, but I omitted the honey since the apples were so sweet! I was able to get 2 quarts (I obviously used more apples than asked for in the recipe AND I used a bigger crockpot) from my efforts. I haven't had to can any applesauce yet, but that was my original plan. As soon as two quarts of applesauce appear in the fridge, it seems to disappear over night!
So, do you have an abundance of food this fall? Apples? Squash? What is your favorite way to preserve a bounty of apples, or whatever it is that you have growing in your garden? Share with us! We love to hear different ideas and especially different recipes!