On Monday I decided to process some apples. There are loads on the ground under the fruit trees in the walled garden, and unless picked up, they just rot on the ground. This is what 8kg of apples looks like.
My sister-in-law has this fancy gadget which peels and cores apples and slices them all into a nice even spiral.
So I set it all up to have a go. My brother-in-law got it straight up.
Shame he couldn't stay on because try as I might, I couldn't get it right, and I went back to the tried and true method of a peeler and a knife, which of course took heaps longer.
My sister-in-law also has a dehydrating machine. It consists of a motor at the bottom, and 6 trays on which you lay out the food to be processed.
When you finish layering all the trays, the machine heats up and keeps the fruit at an even temperature until sufficient moisture has been removed from the fruit to preserve it. The instructions suggest 80% of the moisture in apples should be removed for best results. I had intended to weigh them to work that out, but in the end just used my judgement to decide when they were done.
The drying process took about 5 hours and filled the whole house with a lush sweet appley smell.
Only about a third of the apples were processed this way (because I ran out of room on the trays). The rest I juiced and froze the juice for later.
For anyone used to farm life, this would be no big deal, but I am basically a townie, and it was a totally new experience for me. Not sure I would like to do this every year or for a larger quantity of apples though. LOL