Friday, 28 August 2015

Apples, Apples & More Apples

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

6 comments:

  1. What a great idea to use up apples. I've got so many they're filling up 3 fruit bowls. The only things I thought to make with them are cakes, pies or slices which I'm trying not to eat. I don't have a drier but juicing them is a good idea. Your apples look beautiful piled up in your basket, and I can just imagine how wonderful the smell must have been.

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  2. Love the apple season so juicy and crisp - great idea to store some dried for later use. I saw one of the apply peel machines the other day and thought I would try that for the grandson - curly apples would be a treat.

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  3. I love fruit crumbles but end up eating them myself then loI
    I do drink a lot of hot water infused with fruits must admit. So sliced apples, mint, honey and lemons eg and I adore citrus slices with mint n honey too.
    Good idea to juice and freeze though, I didn't think of doing that either!

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  4. Apples are the only reason I like fall. There is just something about the smell of apple pie ; )

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  5. I like the idea of drying the fruit slices - our freezer seems to be on a permanent 'one out one in' status! Chutney is always my fall back - nice and spicy. xx

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  6. What a wonderful autumn smell to fill you house with! Those dried apples will make a nice snack. When I get lots of apples I make applesauce using my food mill a neat contraption. You simply cut your apples into quarter, peels, seeds and all, and cook them down to a mush with a little dab of water in a big pot on a low heat. Then you plop the gloop into the food mill, turn the handle, and voila! out comes applesauce. So good. I need to make some more - thanks for reminding me.

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