Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Getting the most from your Market purchases: Drying Fruit

Looking for a delicious, healthy way to get the most from your summer fruits? How about drying some? Dried fruit is an easy snack on its own, delicious with yogurt, a wonderful addition to your morning granola...

It's easy to make your own! There are a lot of recipes that suggest drying outdoors, but with our perennially humid climate, drying indoors is safer. This super simple recipe comes from eHow Food:

Things You'll Need:
Your choice of fruit, which can include apricots, apples, peaches, or berries.
Parchment Paper
Cooking Sheet
Large pot

How to Oven Dry Fruit
1. Preheat your oven to 145 degrees.

2. Use fully ripe fruit that is blemish-free.

3. Thoroughly wash, pit, and slice the fruit. The smaller the pieces the quicker it will take for the to dry. However, the fruit should be uniformly sliced so they dry evenly.

4. Blanch or dip the fruit. Blanching works best for apricots and apples. Pectin dips work well with peaches, berries, and cherries. Honey dips can be used for bananas, peaches, and pineapples. Juice dips are preferred for peaches, apples, and bananas.

5. Cover a cooking sheet with parchment paper and place the fruit on top making sure that no slices touch each other.

6. Close the oven door but prop it open with with a wooden spoon so steam is allowed to escape.

7. Keep the fruit in the oven for 4 to 12 hours. After 4 hours you can test a slice and see if it is dry but flexible when cooled. Continue to test until you're satisfied with results.

8. Place the dried fruit in a large open pot in a warm, dry, and airy room. Stir the fruit one to two times a day for 10 to 14 days.

We hope you'll try this out...and share some with your friends!

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