Monday, August 17, 2009

Preserving Food ~ Drying Fruit

I had some serious nostalgia of the little farm I grew up on while my daughter and I cut and dried fruit the other day. My mom and I would spend hours making dried bananas, apples, and cherries for our winter oatmeal. I really loved doing it with Cyan.

The cherries were first. Thank goodness for the Pampered Chef cherry pitter. Seriously, I am not a gadget person, but over the last two years, this little thing has really wormed it's way into my heart. (Pitting three pounds of cherries would have taken hours without it.)

Here is Cyan cutting the strawberries.

They dried for 10 hours and then I pulled all the ones that were done off the racks and left the others for another 5 hours.

I do need a bit of advice for drying though. How do you keep them sweet? I got them at the peek of season, I made them large pieces, and didn't over dry. And yet, every now and again, you get a REALLY bitter one. I know none of this fruit was bitter. Any ideas?




Jenny said...

These look great. Wish I had more leftover after jam making. Sorry I have no tips for sweetness. I always thought you had to dry them with alittle sugar coating???

Katie said...

No idea for the sweetness, I will ask my mom tomorrow, she has a dehydrator, I think I need to use it!
Great idea as usual...and the farm you grew up on sounds so amazing!

Brie said...

I've wondered that with sweetness myself...and I have yet to make banana chips that taste like the ones I had as a kid!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

The fruit got sweet just from sitting out for two days. The kids and I put it in trail mix on the counter, and I didn't ever get another bitter one. Maybe it just has to age and get the tartness from the dryer off of it? I have no idea, but I was really glad to find out. :)


Heather said...

My dad has this coating he puts on fruit he dries. He mostly makes apple chips and he says it keeps them from getting really brown and adds sweetness. I think it is made for dehydrating fruit, I bet you can get it at a health food type of store

Val in the Rose Garden said...

That is really interesting Heather! I will have to look into that. Thanks for the tip. :)

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