A friend of the family has an apple farm in the Okanagan. We always purchase a few boxes from them, and they generously let us pick several more boxes for free. Last fall we ended up with 12 boxes of apples. I don't know if you can appreciate how many apples that is. We are just now on our last box. We've given a lot away, eaten an apple a day every day all winter long, made pies, applesauce, apple crisps, lately we've thrown out way too many bad apples (so sad), and recently I pulled out my dehydrator to see what I could do to save some of those apples.
You can, of course, make fruit leather with a dehydrator. I didn't. I was too lazy, which is likely why it's taken me this long to get the dehydrator out. I could make excuses - there was lawn furniture in the way all winter long. But really? It just seemed such a bother. In any case, I finally got out my handy-dandy Nesco dehydrator.
I bought it a few years back when I had big plans to dehydrate everything we were getting from the family farm (which was so much produce a lot was going bad before we could use it). Dehydrating is a great concept. Simply slice your fruit or vegetables into similar sizes/thicknesses. Place in your dehydrator and let the machine slowly dry the food. The problem is, of course, how long it takes. You have to realize - I'm used to waiting a bit when making bread. It's not like I don't have some patience. But dehydrating? Man, it takes forever. I did have a great piece of equipment for peeling, coring, and slicing my apples (10 seconds per apple!). Another Lee Valley item, the apple peeler (catchy name, eh?).
The nine apples that I could fit in the dehydrator were ready in a couple of minutes. Laying the apple slices out on the six trays of the dehydrator was another few minutes. Plugging it in. No problem. Then, waiting. A whole day later (from 6 PM Saturday night to 6 PM Sunday night). 24 hours is what it took.
They look pretty, in a dehydrated kind of way.
But ... that's a lot of time listening to the hum of a dehydrator for two jars of dried apples that likely could be eaten in a single afternoon of snacking.
Would I dehydrate apples again? Yes, but likely not a boxful since that would take a full week of running the dehydrator to get it done. Perhaps 2-3 days tops is all I could likely stand.