Instead of paying an arm and a leg for readymade dry fruit, you can easily dry your own fruits at home! You can do it with the traditional ones like figs, apricots, grapes (raisins) or plums (prunes), or you can even try drying other fruits like apples, pineapples, pears, bananas, kiwis, peaches, etc.
Select your type of fruit (you can even make a mixture of different fruits) and then follow these steps.
1. Wash them.
Choose fruits that are ripe but not overripe. Wash them in cold water.
2. Remove the skins (optional).
Some fruits, like apples and peaches, dry better without the skin. To remove the peel smoothly, cut an ?X? into the bottom of each fruit and then dip it into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove it and then immediately dunk it into ice cold water. The peel should slip off instantly.
3. Slice them as thin as possible.
If the fruits have any blemishes, cut off the spoiled parts. Remove any seeds and stems, and then slice the fruit as thinly as you can, so that it dries faster. Make sure that the slices are all the same size so that they get done at the same time.
4. Soak them in water with lemon juice.
The Vitamin C in the lemon juice will prevent the fruits from turning brown. Soak them in a mixture of water and lemon juice for about 10 minutes, then drain out the water and blot them dry. Use a towel or paper napkin that won?t leave lint on the fruits.
5. Preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to its lowest setting, between 100 and 150 degrees F (40 to 65 degrees C). Thinner slices like apples and peaches need a lower temperature, while strawberries and grapes require a higher temperature.
6. Spread the slices on a tray.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the slices of fruit on this paper, keeping them far apart and ensuring that none of them touch.
7. Place the tray in the oven.
Place the tray in the oven, keeping the oven at the same temperature. This chart gives you the approximate amount of time that the fruit will take to dry. Don?t try to increase the temperature and speed up the process ? the idea is to dehydrate the fruit, not cook it.
8. Check on it.
Rotate the pans of fruit every two hours. When it?s done, it should be like leather, but still pliable.
9. Transfer it to a jar.
Remove it from the oven and shift it to a glass or plastic jar. Don?t put a lid on it for 4-5 days, so that any remaining moisture can evaporate. Shake the container every day so that the fruit moves around.