Dried fruit makes a fruity and handy snack for in between meals. Below we show you how you can dry your own fruit.
Dried fruit has one major advantage, especially when you are on the go: it’s not only easy to carry, it’s also easy to eat – you don’t need to bring a knife to peel or chop up the fruit into small pieces. And you don’t even need to worry about getting rid of skins or pips. If you want to avoid industrial preservatives, you can make your own dried fruit – and you don’t even need a food dehydrator.
Drying fruit yourself – here’s how:
Prepare the fruit
Apples, pears, bananas, plums, mangos and cranberries are particularly suitable for drying. Wash the fruit, if necessary remove any core or pips, and cut the fruit into slices or cubes that are roughly equal in size. As a rule, the thinner the fruit, the faster it dries. Place the fruit on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, leaving a small gap between each piece of fruit.
Tip: Prevent fruits like apples and pears from browning by soaking the pieces of fruit in some lemon water for about 10 minutes before baking.
Into the oven
To dry the fruit, you can place several baking sheets, one on top of another, in the oven. Sliced fruit also works really well when threaded onto bamboo skewers. Hang these up on the left and right in the oven so that the slices of fruit can dry even better on all sides. In a fan oven, set the temperature to between 50 and 70 °C and allow the fruit to dry for around four to six hours.
Important: The oven door should be kept slightly open throughout in order to remove the moisture. The best way to do this is to wedge a wooden spoon into the door.
Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Depending on the type of fruit and the size of the pieces (e.g. if you are using whole plums or apricots), the drying process can also take longer. The fruit is finished drying when it feels elastic and leathery and when there are no more moist parts when it is sliced. This is the only way it is guaranteed to last for a long time.
Store dried fruit
After drying the fruit in the oven, it should be allowed to cool completely and then left for another few days ‘to air’ in a final drying process. You can then put it into sealable jars and store it in a dark, cool and, above all, dry place. This will preserve your homemade dried fruit for several months.
Have fun trying it out!
Your Dole Team