Peel and core, cut into slices or rings one-eighth to one-quarter inch thick. Peelings may be left on, however they tend to toughen during dehydration.
Fruits that are to be dehydrated are pretreated to prevent discoloration by oxidation, to keep a fresher color, to have a more pliable texture, and to help retain vitamin A and C.
Each of the following pretreatments perform a useful part of the dehydrating process and each has merit. Personal preference should be your guide.
Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sodium bisulfite in one quart of water and add cut fruit. Slices of fruit should be soaked for no more than 10 minutes. Drain and dehydrate. (CAUTION: Sodium Bisulfite can affect anyone with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems.)
Dissolve one tablespoon of pure crystalline ascorbic acid in one quart of cold water. Add cut fruit and soak for a few minutes; remove with a slotted spoon; drain well and dehydrate.
Use one cup lemon juice to one quart water. Soak the fruit for no more than ten minutes. Drain and dehydrate. (Lemon juice is only one-sixth as effective as ascorbic acid.)
This method takes 3-4 hot days (98-100 degrees F). Be sure to cover fruit with screen or cheese cloth to keep away insects. Bring in or cover at night to keep moisture from collecting. To "pasteurize" sun dried fruit in order to prevent contamination from insects, freeze for 28-72 hours.
This is generally the fastest method. The temperature should be no higher than 140 degrees, leave the door ajar; place a fan so it blows across the opening and carries the moisture away.
Dehydrator Method. The temperature should be 150 degrees for 2-3 hours, then reduce to 130 degrees until dry.
Fruit is dry when it is soft and pliable with no moist area in the center when cut.
Beef & Sausage Pot Pie (You can also use chicken)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken (10.5 oz)
1/4 cup Water
1 pound ground beef
1 pound sausage (or use 1-2 pounds diced chicken)
1-2 scallions or very small onions (optional)
Options for veggies
Spinach (diced really small)
Or anything else that sounds good to you
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix 4 servings worth of Bisquick with 1/4 less cup water than the recipe calls for. (You could also use your favorite biscuit recipe instead. Buttermilk biscuits are also really good.
Brown meat that you are using (Beef & Sausage or Chicken). If you like onions and 1-2 scallions or small onions. Mix meat with Cream of mushroom or chicken.
When adding veggies, things like green beans, lima beans, carrots, and potatoes need to be precooked. Cook them until they are almost as soft as you would normally eat them. If you cook them until they are "done," they will be mush by the time you cook the whole pot pie. Mix veggies with meat mixture and put in the bottom of a pan or dish. Mix Topping and spread evenly over filling.
Cook for about 45 minutes (or until top is golden brown)
Hint* Most times I will only put on half the topping, cook it until that is done, and then add another layer of topping. This makes a thick crust and ensures that it is not still gooey in the middle.