I love apples and while they are available almost year round at the Ottawa Organic Farmers' market, by January they are no longer so great for eating raw (but still great for baking!)
So last year I tried drying apples for the first time. Not having any fancy equipment I just cut them into rings and strung them up on cooking string. They turned out great.
This year I wanted to make more so I used a friend's dehydrator (as there are only so many places to string up apples around one's house!) as well as the string method.
The dehydrator ones turned out well and certainly took less time. But I think I still prefer the apples dried on strings from the 'no energy required' point of view.
Dehydrator apples: 1 day
Apples on string: 3-4 days
A lot of recipes call for using a vit. c or equivalent solution to dip your apple rings into before drying. I tried that last year and it was a huge hassle. Plus it didn't really reduce the browning (the whole point) so I didn't bother this year. I don't think my apples look any more brown than the ones at the stores.
I bought 64 organic apples at the farmers market for $16 and I'll probably end up with 5 or 6 1L jars of dried apples.