What are the steps to drying fruit?


Quick Answer

To make dried fruit at home in an oven, choose ripe fruit without bruises that dries well, such as apples, bananas, apricots, cherries and berries. Wash the fruit thoroughly, and discard any bruised, unripe or otherwise damaged fruit.

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Full Answer

How to prepare the fruit for drying depends on the type of fruit used. Prepare cored fruit, such as pears and apples, by peeling, coring and slicing the fruit into uniform pieces. Cut stone fruits, such as apricots and peaches, in half, and remove the pit. Prepare berries with tough skins, such as cherries and grapes, by cracking the fruit. To crack fruit, dip the fruit into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, and then submerge the fruit into very cold water to stop the cooking process. Let cracked fruit air dry on towels before proceeding.

Place the fruit on baking sheets, making sure that none of the pieces touch. Position stone fruits with the cut side up to preserve the flavors within the fruit juices as the fruit dries. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the baking sheets in the oven, making sure there is 1 1/2 inches of room around each pan for maximum air circulation. Leave the door to the oven open a few inches. Stir or flip the fruit every 30 minutes to encourage even drying. Allow for at least four to eight hours of drying time, and let the fruit sit out after drying for at least 12 hours before packaging it in airtight containers.

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