Items you will need
- Apricots, apples, cherries, peaches, bananas, pineapples
- Ice cold water
- Paper towels
- Powdered pectin
- Lemon juice
- Ascorbic acid
- Vitamin C tablets
- Net cloth
- Cheese cloth
- Open-mouthed pot
- Paper bags
- Air tight plastic bags or container
How to Dry Fruit. Fruits are preserved by removing all of the moisture. Drying fruit is one of the most widely used natural methods to conserve the quality and taste of the fruit for a long time. It is easy to follow the various approaches to dry and preserve different varieties of fruit.
Prepare the Fruit
Select fruit pieces that are ripe and unspoiled. Wash the fruit thoroughly. Remove the pits and slice in equal sizes. Bite-sized pieces are recommended.
Steam fruit such as apricots and apples for 3 to 4 minutes or suspend them in a strainer in boiling water to preserve the color. Transfer immediately to ice cold water for one minute. Remove and dry with a paper towel.
Make a solution of one cup water and one box powdered pectin. Bring it to a boil and add 1/2 cup sugar and one cup cold water. Let the sugar dissolve and remove. Dip fruit such as cherries, peaches and berries in the mixture for 5 minutes. Dry with a paper towel.
Combine 1 cup sugar and 3 cups water. Boil and add 1 cup honey. Mix well to make a dip for fruit like pineapples, peaches and bananas. Transfer the fruit after 5 minutes. As a variation, mix 1 cup lukewarm water, pineapple juice and 2 Tbsp. persevered lemon juice to make the dipping solution.
Prepare a universal fruit dip by combining 2 Tbsp. ascorbic acid or finely crushed vitamin C tablets in 2 cups water. Dip desired fruit for a few minutes.
Dry the Fruit
Lay the fruit on a screen and place it outside in the sunlight 4 to 5 days in a row. Cover the screen with a net cloth to prevent birds from picking at the fruit. Bring the fruit inside at night to avoid dew build up. Turn over the fruit twice during the process.
Dry the fruit in the oven if the temperature outside is above 100 degrees F. Place a cheese cloth over the racks. Keep the oven door open by inserting a metal spatula in the doorway. Pre-heat to 145 degrees. Turn off the oven and place the fruit inside. Wait 4 to 12 hours for the fruit to completely dry.
Place the dry fruit inside a big, open-mouthed pot and cover the pot with a net. Let the pot sit for 2 weeks in a warm and dry location. Stir once or twice every 3 days. This completely removes any hidden moisture inside the fruit and makes it wrinkly and dry.
Place the dried fruit in a paper bag and keep inside a clear air tight plastic bag or container. Store in a cool, humid-free area.