This idea came into being as I was playing with my new mandoline – the kitchen tool, not the musical instrument – but all you really need is a chef’s knife. Somehow dried apples are just more fun to eat this way! I use a dehydrator to prepare Dried Apple Dice. Theoretically I suppose you could dry them in a low oven; I have not tried it. If you don’t own a dehydrator, trust me – you want one! If you’d like to make Dried Pear Dice, select pears that are firm-ripe for ease of cutting and best quality. Dried Apple or Pear Dice inspire all kinds of great trail mix ideas. See Pair-a-Dice Trail Mix for one delicious option. Another way to dry apples it to make Dried Apple Rings.
Wash the apples and pat them dry. Remove the peels if desired. Using a chef’s knife, cut the “cheeks” from the apples, leaving a square-shaped core. Cut the “cheeks” into 1/3 – 1/2 inch cubes.
|Leaving peels on means more nutrition and less waste.|
Scatter cubes in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Dry at 135 degrees for 8-9 hours (110-115 for raw; will require additional drying time) until lightweight and leathery with no pockets of moisture or stickiness. Squeeze a few to test for doneness.
|Two great apple snacks: Apple Dice and Apple Rings!|
Allow apples to cool completely, then transfer to a glass jar with a lid. Set them on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight for a 2-3 days to condition, shaking the jar daily to redistribute moisture within the pieces of fruit. If you notice moisture collecting inside the jar the apple dice are under-dried. Return them to the dehydrator for another hour or two, until done. Repeat conditioning treatment, then store in a cool, dark cupboard up to 1 year – if they last that long!