If your apple tree has proved particuarly bountiful, don't make infinite crumbles. Learn how to dry apples for a simple, healthy and delicious way to enjoy them

Knowing how to dry apples will give you a break from the crumbles, pies, chutneys and juices when they start falling from the tree. No need for a dehydrator, our simple method only requires an oven and a slight draught. Perfect to pack in a lunchbox or just as a snack, try with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a hint of spice.

Make sure you know how to judge pectin levels in fruit before you start promising jam to all of your friends and neighbours. The technical side may be maddening but it is a crucial step to perfecting your jam. And to make sure they don’t rot before they’ve made it to the maslin pan learn how to store apples correctly. If you’ve had a particuarly bountiful harvest, it’s time to think bigger than the fruit bowl. An apple rack is visually pleasing, very practical and will give you plenty of time to make your favourite crumble.


Would you be able to recommend a way of drying fruit, in particular apples? I often freeze windfalls but am interested in other ways of using them.
MG, by email

You need a steady heat source plus a slight draught, if possible. Use ripe eating or cooking apples. Peel, core and cut into 6mm (1⁄5in) rings.

Drop these into 2 litres (31⁄2 pints) water mixed with a tablespoon salt to prevent browning. Shake well and thread on to sticks, which can be supported on trays before being placed in an oven of no more than 60°C/140°F/Gas Mark 1⁄4. At a steady heat the apples should take four to six hours to dry out. They are ready when their texture is similar to chamois leather.

When the fruit has dried, leave it at room temperature overnight, then store in an airtight container.