Appalachian Food

Dried Apples And Apple Jelly Step One

Hanging out at deer camp

The girls and I slipped off to deer camp with The Deer Hunter for a few days last fall. I told you about the rock hunting but I didn’t tell you about the apples.

A week or so before our trip I came into a hoard of apples. They were given to me by a sweet lady. Things were so busy I didn’t get to do anything with the apples before we left, but I needed to do something with them. Pondering my predicament I decided to take them with me. I knew I’d have time to put them up while we were at deer camp.

The Deer Hunter said “Are you crazy why are you taking all those apples and that dehydrator?” I said “I’m driving my own car so don’t worry about what I’m taking.”

Drying apples with dehydrator 2

In between goofing off, reading, and relaxing I’d peel apples, making sure to save the peelings.

Once peeled, I quartered the apples and removed the core pieces, saving them as well. I used to have an apple peeler/corer but I have no clue what happened to it.

Then I cut the quarters into slices for drying. I like my dried apples fairly substantial so I cut the slices about a quarter of an inch thick. One of my friends likes hers crunchy so she cuts them really thin. Its all a matter of preference.

My yard-sale dehydrator has stackable trays so all I have to do is lay the apple slices on the trays, stack them up, and turn it on. I never time how long it takes, I just keep a check on them. Sometimes I rotate the trays if one seems to be drying faster than others. And I always end up taking slices out that seem to dry quicker than others.

If you’re worried about them turning brown I’ve heard you can dip the slices in lemon juice before drying, but brown doesn’t bother me so I skip that step.

I’ve read people dry apples and store them in the freezer, but I don’t. I put mine in either a sealed canning jar or a freezer bag and store them in a cabinet-they do fine for me, but if you’re worried about them spoiling put them in the freezer.

Serenaded at deer camp

I was serenaded by this bunch during part of my apple drying time which was super nice.

Drying apples to eat

I do believe deer camp is the place to dry apples because I thoroughly enjoyed it! But that could have been because the apples were my only real responsibility during those days.

Go here to see what I did with the peelings and cores.



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  • Reply
    Frances Masuda
    February 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I make apple pies all the time with dried apples!! My Aunt used dried apples so when I was a young married, I began to do the same, others just don’t taste the same. Thanks for all the memories. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Sounds lovely! I remember going to our dad’s hunting camp. We kids had a great time there running wild and exploring, but I bet our mom was fairly bored with no tv and no phone (and no indoor plumbing – LOL). I do remember her sweeping and sweeping and sweeping, and saying she could never really get the place clean, when it looked clean enough to the rest of us. Hey! It was a hunting camp. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    February 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I love to dry apples and make the jelly too..

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    February 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Do you can apple sauce?
    Do you make apple butter? I love apple butter! Mix with a little peanut butter for a sandwich…or on hot biscuits…I have also made fried pies using apple butter.
    My grandmother would attach a good clean sheet on her quilting frames…(the old timey ones with the little nail tacks to roll the quilt with) put her sliced apples on it spreading them out…The quilting frame hung from the ceiling on four ropes at the corners..The bedroom she used for drying faced East, it was quite warm upstairs in the late summer and fall. She would hoist that frame back up to the ceiling about two feet from the top…
    It didn’t take long for those apples to dry. I remember being there one day when Mom helped her in stirring the apples around and hoisting it back up…I had never seen so many apple slices in my life…The next time I visited we went upstairs took down the apples, put them in brown pokes, (paper bags) and tied them up…
    She put some in jars to use sooner, storing in the cabinets..the rest hung from a line in the empty room…
    She made fried pies, pies, stack cake, apple cakes and fritters…just about anything you can make with a regular apple you can make with dried…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…She was a apple jelly maker and apple butter maker too…

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    That first picture of you peeling an apple made my mouth water…I swear I could smell that tangy fresh apple smell!
    I’ve never bothered with lemon juice, and I like thicker, chewy slices for cooking with and for nibbling, and thin crispy slices for nibbling also. I just plain love dried apples!
    Looking forward to hearing about the cores and peels 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    February 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve never been to deer camp, but your story makes me want to put it on my bucket list. Apples, book, guitar. Yep, I want to go to deer camp!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Cheryl-I hope to make a stack cake real soon!!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    February 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Hey Tipper: Your apple peeling trip seems just about right! For me a Granny Smiith apple cooked in the micro-wave for one minute is my favorite healthy snack in the winter time.
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I cut my apples in circles and strung them like beads on a wooden dowel and dried them in the door way peel and all. To store them I put them in a paper sack and looped a cord around the top. They now hang from a nail in by the wood stove. At first glance it kind of looks like a big hornets nest. I think my Grandpa would be proud.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    February 5, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Do you make stack cakes with your apples? My sister, Trina Hannah, learned to make them from her elderly neighbor. I only got to taste it once, but it was really good.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    February 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Granny spread the apple slices on clean bed sheets on the porch roofs. There were porches on three sides of her old log house. She didn’t worry about the slices turning brown either. I’m not sure how she kept them, but I know she didn’t put them in the freezer.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    February 5, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I love dried apples in my morning oatmeal. I try to dehydrate a batch every year just for that purpose. My grandkids love apple chips coated with a layer of sugar and cinnamon.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I’ve never done anything with
    apples, especially drying them out
    to preserve ’em. But one of my
    favorite things to bake is an apple pie. I can remember my dad’s
    mom (that grandma) peeling apples
    and slicing them for drying. She
    had a long table outside just for
    that, never thought about what she
    doing with so many apples. I was
    too little to use a knife so I got
    to rock the turkeys. Had to quit
    that soon as I got a good floggin.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Mom used to dry her fruit and vegetables placed on a cloth and spread out on a metal roof or the hood of a car. She dried cushaw and then fried it during the winter. I remember it tasting so different when it was dried. It was a special treat when eaten as a snack right out of the bag.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I froze about a bushel of apples this summer. The apples were yellow delicious and they were the best I’ve had in a long time. We purchased them from an orchard in Ohio. I wish I would have saved the peels and cores. I’m pretty sure I know what you did with yours and I really should have done the same with mine!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I loved seeing photos of the deer camp and hearing about your apples. Made me want one of Mama’s fried pies. They were the best. One time before dehydrators Mama put apple slices on trays in the back window of her car. I guess she thought the heat in the car would dry them faster. Once was enough cause she had to remove them for every trip she took!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I love dried apples. My mother could make the best fried apple pies out of them! I bet I know what you did with the peelings and the cores, because my mother used to do it. Is that where the jelly comes from?

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I love this post, as it gives me ideas. It reminds me of statements from my Mom growing up. “Waste not want not” comes to mind. Also, my Mother often told of her Mother gently scolding them when they complained of endless farm chores. Grandma would say, “It’ll taste better than a snowball.” Another story told to me was they had a small apple orchard and would have to eat the apples first that were starting to spoil, and then they could eat the good ones. Feeding all those children during the depression was a real feat. I never experienced the depression, but was totally brain-washed by the experiences of my Mother and her siblings.
    I never seem to have enough hours in the summertime, and truly admire your time management. I would have more time if I gave up The Blind Pig, but I am not going to do that..too helpful, enjoyable, and uplifting to my soul. Thanks to you, Tipper, and I also truly enjoy the posts of your other readers.

  • Reply
    Jeanette Dunaway
    February 5, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Your apple drying reminded me of a summer when my husband and I took our teenage boy and girl along with one of their friends on vacation to lake Santa Fe in Florida. I loaded up the carin S.E. Georgia with my huge pressure canner and baskets overflowing with red juicy tomatoes. (actually I think we were driving a van at that time) There was a large wooden porch where I could singly lay out all of the tomatoes. As enough would ripen for a canner full, I would leave the fun of the water and get to my task of canning these delicious fruits. I haven’t been on water skis in a long time, nor have I canned any tomatoes, but I would welcome the opportunity.

  • Reply
    Ruth DeHart Bailey
    February 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. I like fried apple pies like my Mother made. A special treat.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Tipper, that looke like fun to me. Dear Camp and apples go together splendidly in my mind. Read a little, peel a few apples, a good way to pass a day.
    Do you ever cook the dired apples and make fried pies or an old timey stack cake. I have to admit, I’ve never in my life made a stack cake. I’ve heard lots about them from people older than me but I’ve never made one.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I was wondering what you did with the peelings. I await tomorrow. I really enjoyed drying my apples; I also did straberries. They did get a bit crisp, but for me it satisfied my crisp urge. I am sad that I got rid of my dehydrator. I might just look for another one. What a great snack!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Ormond Paul
    February 5, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Dried apples are my favorites. Such good memories come with yours.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I love that little dog on the porch! Looks like the one in the snow a few days ago.

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