Thursday, October 22, 2009

Drying Apples: Winter Banana

If you recall, one of the apple varieties we picked up while away was called "Winter Banana". Above the large bin they were in was a sign that read "Great for drying. Sweet drying apple." Or something similar.

Last year, we dried Granny Smith apples. They dried great, thanks in part to friends who lent us a dryer (thank you, Shannon!) and a corer/peeler/slicer (thank you, Carmen!). We chose Granny Smiths because we heard they dried quickly since they are a drier apple. Makes sense. Problem was, our kids thought they were a bit sour so Jamey and I (happily) gobbled them up.

When I read the sign above the Winter Banana variety, I thought all my stars had aligned. And, after drying a basket, I still think they have.

For Christmas, I was gifted a food dryer from Jamey's parents and this past spring I hosted a Pampered Chef party to help out a friend AND to earn a potato/apple corer/peeler/slicer (both pictured above). Yes, indeed. This contraption peels, slices and cores your apples for you. Can you hear the angels singing?

We netted about 7 quarts of dried apples from that basket. They taste great. They are definitely sweeter than Granny Smiths, but still have a little zing. They brown very quickly once sliced. If this bothers you, soak them in a water/lemon juice solution until you are ready to place them in the drier to prevent browning.

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  1. Don't you just love seeing all that good food stored in those pretty jars? Makes it kind of hard to actually eat it! But of course, we will! It tastes so good!

    I have not seen the Winter Banana variety here, but will keep an eye out for it. I love a tart apple, but I'm sure my younger girls might like something slightly sweeter.

  2. Beautiful yumminess! I think they look kinda pretty a bit brown...

    And find a Pampered Chef sales associate who needs me to host a party!! Because I DID hear the angels singing!

  3. Sometimes I think you simply cannot be you have this God given charger inside of you that just keeps enabling you to do more and more and more :)

  4. I have an apple corer/slicer/peeler - I'm going to have to get my daughter to show me how to use it, they make apple slinkies at school with one!

    Dried apple is so yum :) And my aunt has a dryer, so perhaps that means an afternoon at her house ;)

  5. Yum! We used pineapple juice to keep ours from browning last year. Sounds perfect for banana apples.

  6. We have an apple peeler exactly like yours. We love it. We use it to make yummy baked apples. If you don't have a drier, can you dry the apples in another way?

  7. Tim,
    You can also dry them in your oven. Set your oven to the lowest setting (usually 150-170). Lay the slices (not touching each other) out on cake racks if you have them. If you don't, you can use cookie sheets- you may just have to flip them part way through. Dry them overnight. Drying tomatoes this way works as well (paste tomatoes work best since they are the least juicy to begin with). Depending on the thickness of the apple, you made need to keep the oven on into the morning to get them completely dry. Also, start with a drier apple- like Granny Smith or these Winter Bananas- it will take less time than juicy ones. Try it!:-)

  8. how do you call your apple thinggy?? and what brand of pressure canner did you end up getting for Christmas?
    thanks for your fantastic input in my life, I've found you less than 3 days ago and have been talking about since...

  9. Anonymous,
    Welcome! The apple contraption is called a corer/peeler/slicer. I'm hoping for the pressure canner this Christmas, so I don't have it yet. I've been looking at the All American brand:-).


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