Essential to being able to preserve the apples until the next harvest was preservation by drying. One way to do this was to slice the apples and then put a string put through the slices tying a knot between slices and then hanging them to dry. When apples were needed one could just cut the quantity needed from the string allowing the remaining apple slice to remain on the string by cutting just below a knot. Apples could be reconstituted by boiling in water and used in the recipe as if from fresh.
Here’s a recipe from the The Home Cook Book published in 1876 in Chicago as a benefit for Home for the Friendless which offered aid to orphans and victims of domestic violence. According to Becky Young LaBarre, a volunteer at Garfield Farm Museum’s Harvest Days, this recipe is similar to that would have been used in 1840
Dried Apple Cake ~ Mrs. G. W. Gage
One cup dried apples soaked over night, then steamed till soft; put them into a cup of molasses and simmer slowly till well cooked; when cool add one egg, one-half cup of sugar, one-half cup of butter, one-half cup of milk, two and a half cups of flour, one teaspoon soda, two of cream tartar and spice to taste.
Have you ever had a cake or pie that was made with dried apples?