Drying your own fruit at home is not a hard task and can be done rather easily using nothing more than just your oven.
Although the process itself may take a few hours, it is pretty much hands-off so you can focus on your other preps while the fruit is drying.
If you like to do large batches, we do recommend that you invest in a food dehydrator but if you just do a couple of smaller batches here and there, your oven should do the job just fine.
You will need the following:
- Electric or convection oven (preheat to 170ºF)
- Nonstick baking sheets
- Airtight storage containers
- Your ripe fruit of choice
How to Dry Your Own Fruit at Home in an Oven
Your fruit of choice should be ripe and free of bruises. You could choose whichever fruits you and your family enjoy such as apples, pears, bananas, apricots, or even berries. Whichever you choose, wash and peel the fruit making sure to remove any pits or cores and then thinly slice to your desired thickness.
Drying Your Fruit
Lay your fruit slices onto your nonstick baking sheets making sure that each piece is not touching the next and place one sheet of the fruit slices on each oven rack. Allow 1-1/2 inches on all sides of the tray so air can circulate around the sheets while the fruit is drying.
You need to make sure that you keep the oven door open slightly while the fruit is drying and turn them over every 30 minutes. Properly dried fruit should be chewy, not squishy or crispy.
Storing Your Fruit
Leave the fruit until it is thoroughly dried which can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours and then remove the trays from the oven and let them stand overnight. That’s really as easy as it is. All that is left is for you to place your dried fruit into your airtight storage containers. Keep stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Alternatively, store in freezer bags and freeze.
Have you ever dried your own fruit in the oven using a different approach? If so, let us hear how you do it.