The trees are beginning to turn here in Maine, we had our first freeze advisory in the state this week and the apple trees are full of delicious fruit this season! So, it’s time for the 2018 edition of Applepolooza!
I am lucky enough to have several orchards just a few miles from my home, which means u-pick apples are easy to come by here–score! I do, however, like to frequent my friends at Gathering Winds Farm & Orchard in Poland, ME. The beautiful Cortland apples I have on hand are from GWF are just what I needed to kick off Mason Jars and Me’s Applepolooza 2018!
The first order of business in tackling my treasure trove of sweet and juicy goodness was to pull out my apple slicer/corer/peeler machine. These are the best gadgets for making what used to be a full day’s work of breaking down apples into a mere 15 mins of fun! Growing up, we had one that c-clamped to your work surface which was ok if you had a surface you didn’t mind scratching/wearing down. Now, these beauties have suction cup bottoms so they stick to any surface!
The first task was to fill my dehydrator with apple slices. There is nothing better than a dried apple to snack on or to store then add to your oatmeal later on in the winter when all the fresh apples are gone. It took probably 6-8 apples to fill my dehydrator this round. (Several more rounds to go to store the amount I want!)
I throw the slices in one bowl and the scraps in another to save for more Applepolooza fun! The apple slices I then juice one lemon over and mix with my hands. This will keep them from getting too brown during the process. The lemon juice is optional, but I find it does help quite a bit. Once the trays are loaded, I set the dehydrator on 135 degrees then let it go for about 12 hrs.
At about the 10-12hr point, I check to make sure they are leathery, but not moist. If they are still moist, just keep dehydrating until they are dry. (Depending on elevation and moisture content of your air, it could take more or less time.)
Once finished, you can store in storage bags if you’ll be eating them quickly, or use the jar attachment for your vacuum sealer and store in mason jars for the winter. For me, it will be a little of both this year!
(And don’t forget to save those scraps! You can freeze them until you need them too)
Next on the 2018 Applepooloza menu is a scrumptious apple hash paired with salmon!
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