Yesterday was our monthly Food Bloggers Los Angeles meeting — it’s a chance for fellow food bloggers to get together, share some food, and do some bloggy shop-talk. It’s always a potluck, and there’s usually a common theme – this one was “Apples & Pears,” as we’re in the height of the season. Since I’m scrambling to keep all the October Unprocessed plates spinning (so to speak), I needed something extremely quick and easy.
I recently borrowed my mom’s old food dehydrator (made in 1979!) and realized this was a perfect chance to use it. So I sliced up some fruit, set it in the dehydrator, and got back to work. (Truth be told, I was actually on the phone while I was doing most of the slicing.) Couldn’t have been much easier, and you’ve got to love the ingredients.
Apple & Pear chips
- 4 cups water
- Approx. 2 tsp. lemon juice
- Cinnamon or other spices optional
- Wash the fruit and set aside. Add the water and lemon juice to a large bowl.
- For each apple, remove the core with an apple corer or small paring knife. Turn the apple on its side, and slice into 1/4" rings. As soon as they're sliced, place in the bowl of acidified water. This helps keep them from turning brown.
- For each pear, you can repeat the coring process -- though I sliced them in half (from top to bottom), and then cut out the core, and cut them into half-rounds instead. Add them to the water, too.
- Optionally, dust them with ground cinnamon or other spices (nutmeg? clove?).
- If you're lucky enough to have your parents' dehydrator, lay the fruit in a single layer on the trays in the dehydrator. Cover, turn it on, and walk away. Come back in four hours and check on things -- it'll probably take a total of 6 to 10 hours. You may need to remove some sooner than others.
- You can also dry these in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the slices flat on top. Bake at the lowest setting your oven will go (about 175-200), for approximately 2 to 6 hours (depending on the temperature and how thick you've sliced them). Just keep an eye on them every couple of hours; you may need to remove some sooner than others.
I learned the hard way that an apple corer would be really helpful -- it took me about five times longer because I had to use a paring knife (and it wasn't pretty). I also don't have a mandoline slicer, so I just did the best I could do keep the thickness of the slices as even as possible. It doesn't really matter if they're a bit uneven, though you'll have to keep a closer eye on them because some will finish sooner than others.