Since I discovered that I had a bunch of apricots that desperately needed to be used I decided to use the more bruised ones to make diced dried apricots. (I also plan to bake some oat and apricot biscuits with these during the week – stay tuned!).
I started off with this pile of apricots that were only bruised in places that I had rescued from my apricot piles.
Some of them had to be discarded as they had spoiled more since I divided them up, but I managed to rescue about 10 apricots.
I chopped them into small pieces and placed them on a tray with baking paper. I tried to make sure that they weren’t touching so that they didn’t all stick together.
I ummed and ahhed about getting out my sister’s dehydrator (that she’s leant to me since she doesn’t really use it) but decided that it was too late at night to work out how to use it, and that I would just use the oven instead.
There’s a wild variety of reports on the world wide web about how long apricots need to be left in the oven for; some reports said 8 hours, others 10 and some 12. There was definitely a consensus about the temperature, though: as low as your oven could go. I decided to put mine in over night at 50C and see what happened.
This is them after about three hours. Not really any difference.
After convincing Nick that the house would not burn down while we slept if I left the oven on unattended I went to bed. I got up to check on them at about 7:30am when one of our dogs woke me up by howling. I have no idea why it was howling, but it let me check that a) the house was still intact and b) that the apricots still weren’t done.
I went back to bed.
I checked on them again at 12pm – they had been on for 13 or so hours by this point, but they still didn’t look dried enough. I decided that at this rate I would probably be dehydrating apricots forever and turned the oven up to 75C. (The reports all said not to do this, slow and steady wins the race and all that, but I wanted my oven back).
Either the temperature was too much or they were almost ready originally, because a couple of them burnt. Whoops.
On the plus side, they now look far closer to the dried apricots that I know than they used to. And there should still be enough for those oat and apricot biscuits!
Do you dry your own fruit? How do you do it?