We had apple trees at Low House. They were beautiful little trees: stunted, twisted, very old. Every summer they produced a few elegantly blushing apples. Deer ate most, but there would be a season when, at the beginning of every walk (when she was in a stroller, still!) I would pluck an apple or two for Mimi and give them to her to gnaw on while we saw what was what in the old neighborhood.
But they were old, and they produced fewer apples every year. One by one they died completely, and had to be cut down. And let me tell you, applewood fires are a poor recompense for having to cut down an apple tree.
But we have a new house and a new apple tree now. A much bigger tree. It’s also ancient and elegantly twisted, but still has its vim. Sparks gave it a harsh pruning in the early spring, and boy howdy, that pruning paid off. I have more big, healthy apples than I know what to do with. Apple pies! Apple sauce! Dried apples! If it keeps going on, I’ll have to think about apple cider.
We gave away our food dehydrator when we moved, but it turns out we didn’t need it. Put apples through the peeler/corer/slicer (turn, turn, turn, turn, turn), dip them in acidulated water, and lay them on uncoated cooling racks, then into a 200F oven for about four hours. Voila. Dried apples.