Glorious Apples: dehydrate ’em, brew with ’em, vinegarize ’em

Ahhh apples. The “grapes” of most of Canada. So many uses. Pies. Cider. Cider vinegar. The worst flavour of lollipop.

If you get a good sale on apples, find a crab apple tree in the bush or start your own orchard, you’re going to need to preserve those apples so they’ll keep over the winter.

Drying Apples:

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • Apples
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Dehydrator (out-of-the-box or DIY)
  1. Cut the apples into slices (I chose 1/3″ but cut the apples to your own preference)
  2. Mix water and lemon juice. I put about half a lemon’s juice into a half cup of water.
  3. Soak the slices for a few minutes. The lemon’s acid slows oxidisation (the process that turns the apple brown), acts as a preservative and adds flavour.
  4. Dehydrate to your liking. If you dehydrate heavily, you can preserve these fruits in the freezer. If you keep them a little moist, you can keep them for a few days in a cold, dark room. Eat quickly, as bacteria will start to grow due to the moisture content.
  5. You should now have nice soft dried apple slices for snacks or to mix with morning oatmeal

Cider

If you want to get into making your own hooch, cider is a great place to start. Unlike beer, you don’t need extra equipment and exact temperature and time controls. Unlike wine, you don’t need extra adjuncts or extra steps. And it’s hard to screw up cider (though I did once!).

Check out my article on cider brewing here (coming soon!).

In the meantime… here’s a good resource:

Cider Vinegar

Cider comes from yeast converting sugar into alcohol. Acetobacter bacteria will then convert alcohol into vinegar. In my case, I left the cider in an unsealed container for too long and the wild acetobacter in the air turned my 5 gallons of cider into 5 gallons of cider vinegar. At first, it was terrible to drink down then it merely become a struggle. I found it was great for my digestion though. No pain, no gain.

 

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