I have not given enough attention to dried food over the years of this blog. I am not sure why that is,but I hope to remedy the deficiency in part today. Drying is, of course, one of the oldest methods of food preservation, but other than as an ingredient for pastries and cakes, or as a snack, it is not show up often on our culinary radar these days, as most of us have easy access to fresh fruit all year round.
There are several ways in which to dry apples:-
Dried Apples and Pears.
The apples and pears which arrive here in a dried state from France, are thus prepared. The fruit is put into boiling water, in which it is left until it becomes soft. It is then taken out and carefully peeled, the stalk being left on. To prevent any loss of juice, it is placed on a strainer, under which is a dish. When peeled it is put into an oven heated to the ordinary temperature for bread, and left there 24 hours. When taken out and cold, the fruit is pressed flat between the hands; and after being plunged in its own juice, which has been set apart for that purpose, it is packed in boxes and exported.
The Portfolio of Entertaining & Instructive Varieties in History, Literature,
Fine Arts, etc.(London, 1825)
These are dried by taking some fruit proper for the purpose, paring and coring it, and cutting all up into thin slices, which are threaded upon a string, and hung in dry airy places, where they soon get perfectly dry, and are used for sauces, &c„ by dressing them in syrup.
How to Cook Potatoes, Apples, Eggs and Fish: Four Hundred Different Ways (New York, 1869)
Dried Apples à l’Anglaise.
Put them into a very slack oven, three or four days successively; as they become soft, gently flatten them by keeping a slight weight over them when they are out of the oven. The heat may be rather increased towards the last.
How to cook apples: shown in a hundred different ways of dressing that fruit (1865)
Are of two or more kinds, the home-made or sundried generally the cheaper, but by many preferred, and the light-colored, nearly white evaporated, which are in some places treated with sulphur fumes and dried in a current or cold blast of air upon sieves moving upwards in a darkened shaft, whence they emerge almost ready for packing; these apples, with careful cooking, can be restored very nearly to the appearance of the fresh fruit.
The Steward’s Handbook, and Guide to Party Catering (Chicago, 1903)
And there are a lot of ways to use dried apples:-
Dried apples, when they have been made of good fruit and carefully prepared, are very nice—really much richer, when gently stewed till perfectly tender, than the fresh fruit. They make good won with sago and tapioca, as well as with bread, lemon, and Zante currants.
For stewed sauce, a fine variety can be obtained by putting with them quinces, green grapes, and rhubarb, either canned or fresh, and lemon pulp; and some use prune, raisins, and other fruits,
both domestic and foreign. Sweet dried apples, usually so hard to dispose of, go off briskly when stewed with cranberries, rhubarb, and other sour articles, when nice dried apples can be had.
What to Eat, and how to Cook it: With Rules for Preserving, Canning and Drying
Fruits and Vegetables (1870)
Dried Apple Pie.
Cut out all imperfections from tart dried apples, (a sharp pair, of 1 scissors is best for this purpose) then rinse them in cold water, put them in a vessel and put water over three inches more than to cover them; let them stand one night, then put them over a gentle fire with the water in which they were soaked, cover them and let them stew gently; boil a lemon in, water until a straw will pierce the skin; cut it in thin slices, or smaller, and put it to the apples with the juice from it; add half a pound of clean brown sugar for each quart of apples, let them stew until they are soft, then turn them into dishes to become cool .
Rub the pie dishes over with a small bit of sponge, dipped in butter, line them with pie-paste, put in the stewed apple half an inch thick, thinning it towards the edge; roll an upper crust ,rather thin, out three or four small slits each side of the middle and put it over the pie; trim them neatly with a sharp knife, and bake in a quick oven for three-quarters of an hour.
American Lady's System of Cookery (1860)