Have you ever wanted to eat your favourite Summer fruits in Winter but couldn’t because they weren’t in season? Never fear, fruit drying is here! In this article, we’ll teach you how to turn Summer’s freshest fruit into a snack you can enjoy year-round.
When it comes to fruit, you have three preservation options: can, freeze, or dry. Dried fruit is a healthy snack that’s delicious on its own however, it’s also a great addition to a nut mix, or as a salad topping or cocktail garnish. Drying your own fruit is a teeny bit time consuming but it’s fairly easy and totally worth it for the end result! While you can use a dehydrator or an old-fashioned drying cabinet, you definitely don’t need one. Essentially, all you need is some fruit and an oven!
First things first, you’ll need to prep your fruit. Make sure you choose ripe or just overly ripe fruits. Next up, wash them in cold water and remove any blemishes. Also, be sure to remove any pits, stones or stems. The next step – removing the skin – is optional. Some fruits, such as peaches, nectarines, and apples, dry better if the skin has been removed.
Then you’ll need to cut the fruit, making sure you slice the fruit evenly so that each piece will dry at the same pace. To help preserve the fruit’s natural colour and to ensure it stays looking its finest, be sure to soak the fruit in lemon juice and water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry the fruit pieces.
Now the fruit is ready for the oven! Preheat the oven to 50 – 70 degrees Celsius and line baking trays with baking paper. Arrange the fruit in a single layer on the trays, ensuring the pieces are not touching. Bake the fruit in the oven for between 6 to 12 hours, and make sure to rotate the racks every two or so hours while baking. The fruit will look dry and leathery when done.
Once the fruit is ready, remove it from the oven and place the pieces into glass or plastic containers to sit. Leave the containers open for a few days so that any leftover moisture can evaporate, and then seal the containers.
We hope the tips above help you on your journey to drying your own fruit so you can enjoy your favourite fruits all year round!