Preserving Apples for Decoration
Preserve apples by drying them in a dehydrator. When dry they have a variety of decorative uses. Tie a red ribbon to each apple slice and use to decorate an old-fashioned Christmas tree along with candy canes and cookies. Hot glue the apples to skewers and use them in fall flower arrangements. Attach the apples to a grapevine wreath and use to brighten up a kitchen wall.
Prepare a mixture of 1 tbsp. salt, 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 cup of water. Mix so the salt has dissolved completely. The salt keeps bugs away from the dried apples and the lemon juice keeps the apples from oxidizing and discoloring before they're dry.
Choose apples that don't have blemishes and are a bright color. The skin on bright red apples like McIntosh and Jonathan dries to a clear red color. Red delicious dries to a maroon color. Yellow dries to beige and green dries to an olive green.
Wash the apples to remove any wax sealer.
Cut the apple into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. If thinner, the slice has a tendency to break; thicker, and it takes too long to dry. Vertical slices retain the apple shape. Most apples will only have about three slices that look like the apple with the seeds in the center. Horizontal slices are round and are good for wreaths.
Dip the apple slice immediately into the lemon juice solution and then put it on a plate.
Fill the trays of the dehydrator with the apple slices so they don't touch each other. Turn it on. The apples on the lowest level, or closest to the heating unit, will dry the fastest. Turn the apples over after they've been drying for eight to ten hours. Switch the trays so the bottom ones are at the top and vice versa so the apples all dry at the same time.
Remove the apples when they're leathery and dry. It should take from one to two days depending on the dehydrator and how humid the weather is.
Whole apples do not dry well and look wizen if you can get them dry.
Do not eat these apple slices. They won't make you sick, but they don't taste very good.
- Whole apples do not dry well and look wizen if you can get them dry.
- Do not eat these apple slices. They won't make you sick, but they don't taste very good.
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board