Working with dehydrated apples
Dehydrated apples take up very little space and pack a lot of taste, nutrition and fiber into very little space.
Despite the poem they are actually good! But let me get this bit of doggerel out of the way:
Dried Apple Pies
I loathe, abhor, detest, despise,
Abominate dried-apple pies.
I like good bread, I like good meat,
Or anything that’s fit to eat;
But of all poor grub beneath the skies,
The poorest is dried apple pies.
Give me the toothache, or sore eyes,
But don’t give me dried apple pies.
The farmer takes his gnarliest fruit,
‘Tis wormy, bitter, and hard, to boot;
He leaves the hulls to make us cough,
And don’t take half the peeling off.
Then on a dirty cord ’tis strung
And in a garret window hung,
And there it serves as roost for flies,
Until it’s made up into pies.
Tread on my corns, or tell me lies,
But don’t pass me dried-apple pies.
We bought our lovely dried apples from the local Mormon food pantry, and they were nothing like the poem. I recommend you do that too unless you have a way of drying them for free. Go solar! (We have—make that had—an electric dehydrator but it’s broken. And oven-dried fruit is not worth the cost on the electric bill).
But you need these. Yes, I know you may can quarts of apples for pies, or make apple butter & apples sauce, but those have a shelf life of one year. Dried apples last for years. They’re versatile. And if you have an apple tree on your property and a solar food drying rack, they’re nearly free. They are also free if you can forage apples from a neighbor who does not harvest their fruit. It astounds me how many people who have apples trees just let the fruit fall and rot.
I always have a canning jar of dried apples on the shelf next to the corn muffin mix, buckwheat pancake mix, and oatmeal. Chopping a little into any of those is a simple way to add something nice to a breakfast to make it special. They are also really, really good in stuffing.
Most recipes involving dried apples that I like require me to chop them up. They’re leathery, and take a very sharp knife to slice. Once chopped they’re sticky; I recommend having a wet washcloth nearby to clean your fingers. You can substitute them for an equal volume for raisins in almost any recipe.
Great stuffing/dressing! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chestnut-bacon-dried-apple-and-corn-bread-stuffing-107290 OMG so good!
You have to try this cornbread. http://www.mercurynews.com/2008/08/12/apple-cheddar-cornbread-recipe/
Haven’t tried this one but it’s next:Apple puff http://allaboutfoodstorage.com/food-storage-recipes/apple-puff-pancake/
And, of course, Dried Apple Pies
Here’s the trick: reconstitute the apples with cider, not water, for a great pie.
Preheat oven to 400 F
3 cups dried apples
2.5 cups apple juice/cider
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs cold butter
2 tbs flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
premade pie shell/crust(s) – uncooked
Put the dried apples in a large bowl; heat cider/juice to a boil in an oversized pot and pour over dried apples; let them stand 1 hour. Return to pot; cook apples in juice for 10 to 15 minutes or till tender.
Stir remaining ingredients (except butter!) together, add to apples and mix well.
Put prepared pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan and pour prepared apple mixture into crust. Dot with butter.
Top with a second crust (brush on milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar) or crumb topping.
Crumb topping (you’ll need a pastry cutter for this one!)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Mix the dry ingredients then use the pastry cutter to cut in the butter. It will form crumbles; sprinkle them over the pie.
The pie takes about 50 minutes to cook, btw.