A Wife Loved Like The Church

Drying your own fruit

Posted on: February 25, 2009

Kelsey mentioned dry fruit and the possibility of doing it on her own. In a moment of impulse, I thought I’d dry some of the bananas and apples that we had on hand. 

Apples and bananas

I sliced up the bananas. 

Bananas

Can I just say there is nothing like a good knife?! After 3+ years of so-so cutlery, I got a super nice Pampered Chef knife at Christmas. Amazing…

I peeled one apple and soaked it in lemon juice to cut down on “browning” (per recommendation on a site I found).

Apple

The next apple I decided not to peel or soak (I wanted to prove/disprove the browning theory and cut down on time).

I layered them on two cookies sheets covered in parchment paper.

Sheet

I put them in the oven, preheated to 200, for 5 hours. 

Walla! We have dried fruit.

Dried fruit

I don’t think soaking the apples made any difference in keeping them from getting less brown. The bananas looked nothing like what I see in the store. I later read that it helps to soak them for several hours in water before hand. Which means you’d need all day (literally) to do this project. Once I figure out the costs I’ll let you know if it’s worth doing it yourself. One good thing –  they taste really yummy!

Jonathan isn’t too sure how cost effective it is to use the oven for 5+ hours. I’ve found a formula that says it’s 1.5 units for every hour used (at such a low heat), but I can’t find on our bill how much the electric/gas company charges per unit. 

I’m still doing research to find if there are any other ways to dry fruit without spending money on a dehydrator. I’ve read about hanging them outside for a few weeks (can you say, bugs?) but I’m not quite adventurous for that.

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7 Responses to "Drying your own fruit"

Great job babe! Nice pictures and explanation. I would like to know more about the cost to use our stove all day…

Alton Brown (from Food Network) had an episode about drying fruit. I think he put fruit in between furnace filters, stacked them, strapped them to a box fan, and blew the fan out a window. He said that using the oven might end up giving a more “baked” effect, which might be why your bananas didn’t turn out like you’d see in a store. I’d love to find out exactly how he did it. I also wonder if drying it on your own saves that much money, since fresh fruit isn’t always a bargain and shrinks down a lot as it dries.

Also, thanks for your experimenting!

I’ve never tried drying fruit in the oven, but I had a housemate who once tried drying cucumbers in the oven. I really don’t recommend that (in case the thought might ever cross your mind). The whole house smelled terrible, and the cucumber chips tasted just as bad!

I found a dehydrator at a garage sale for $2. I have a feeling it is an item that a lot of people have, but don’t use. I think the one I bought was only used a handful of times. I can keep an eye out for you this season if you want.

We used a dehydrator when I was a kid to make Apple Chips all the time!!

I think it would be very cost effective.. if you had one.. and had uber amounts of cheap apples from an orchard when they are in season.. definintly something I will keep in mind.. I think they will store for a long time.. we stored our apple chips in the freezor growing up and I think they lasted a long time!

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