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Make your own Dried Fruits in Oven using the dehydrate setting. Just cut the fruits, arrange them on wire racks, and allow the oven to do the rest.
Dried fruits make healthy snacks and homemade dried fruits are even better since preservatives are not used. They are also relatively easy to prepare. Buy organic fruits if you are concerned about pesticides. That way you know you have some clean and wholesome dried fruits in your pantry for snacking or use as an ingredient in your cooking.
I have never attempted to make my own dried fruits up until a few days ago when I decided to give it a try. It felt daunting at first because of the time required to dry those fruits but it really isn’t difficult at all. Your work is more or less done after you turn on the oven or food dehydrator. From then on, you just need to keep an eye on it while you go about the rest of your day.
How to Make Dried Fruits in Oven
Making Dried Fruits in Oven can’t be easier if you have an oven with a “Dehydrate” setting. I am grateful that my Thermador Wall Oven has that setting. As such, all I had to do was to cut the fruits and arrange them on wire racks. Then place them in the oven and that’s about it.
It does take between 8 to 11 hours to dry those fruits depending on how thick you cut them. I cut my fruits with a very sharp knife to just slightly thicker than 1/8 inch and it took 8 hours to dry them. They should be fine anywhere between 1/8 inch and ¼ inch thick. You can use a mandolin to cut fruits like apples and pears to get more even slices.
The capacity of my oven is huge. I am able to place six 15 inch x 10 inch wire racks in there. That’s a lot of fruits. I did use one wire rack for the Dried Rose Agar-agar which was what started this drying fruit project in the first place. It did not matter if I was drying one or six racks of fruits, it will still take as long and cost as much. Might as well use it to full capacity.
Also, they look so pretty all arranged neatly in the oven. I chose pineapple, apples, clementines, and cara cara oranges because these are considered auspicious fruits for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. You can read about some of the auspicious foods in this Bak Kwa post. Also be sure to check out the Bak Kwa recipe as it is another Chinese New Year favorite.
At the last minute, I decided to dry some kiwi fruits as well to give my whole plate of dried fruits a bit of green color. I was pleasantly surprised at how vibrant the colors remained after so many hours of drying in the oven. The kitchen smelled like a candy store the next morning. It was amazing!
I will put together a healthier Chinese New Year Candy Box with nuts, seeds, and these dried fruits instead of using store bought candied fruits. Each kind of treat in the candy box will be labeled so that you can lean of it significance for the Chinese New Year. Please do check back for that in a few days.
Pineapple Slices in Pineapple Juice
These dried pineapple slices turned a golden color and are a little sweet, soft, and chewy. They are quite tasty and I wished I would have used two cans instead of one can of pineapple slices. Maybe I will try using fresh pineapple the next time.
Honey Crisp Apple
Again I wish I would have used two apples instead of one because this turned out to be everyone’s favorite. They are mildly sweet and are just wonderful to snack on.
Dried clementine slices have a bitter sweet taste coming from the rind. They were crunchy at first but soften slightly after a day in a container. Dried clementine slices are wonderful added to this Sweet Red Bean Soup.
These dried kiwi fruit slices turned out better than I expected. They are chewy and slightly tart. Great as a snack or added to your breakfast cereal.
Cara Cara Orange
These cara cara orange slices turned out to be the prettiest of the 5 different fruits used. It retained its vibrant colors and was very crunchy initially. They soften slightly after a day in the container. Taste wise, they are bitter sweet. The rind is definitely more bitter than that of the clementines. I will use these cara cara oranges in my cooking and baking. They will be great in Fruit Cakes.
Products Used in Making These Dried Fruits in Oven
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- Six 15 in x 10 in wire racks
- 1 to 2 honey crisp apple
- 2 tbsp lime juice (lemon juice)
- 5 to 6 kiwi fruits
- 4 clementines (or Mandarin oranges)
- 2 cara cara oranges
- 1 can pineapple slices in pineapple juice
- Cut apple crosswise into thin slices between 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Remove seeds. Dip each slice of apple in lime/lemon juice and arrange on a wire rack in a single layer.
- Peel kiwi fruit and cut cross wise into thin slices between 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Arrange slices of kiwi fruit on a separate wire rack in a single layer.
- Cut clementines crosswise into thin slices between 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Arrange slices of clementines on a separate wire rack in a single layer.
- Cut cara cara oranges crosswise into thin slices between 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Arrange slices of cara cara oranges on a separate wire rack in a single layer.
- Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels. Drain pineapple slices from the can and place on top of the paper towels. Blot the top of each slice of pineapple with another piece of paper towel. When juices are blotted out, arrange pineapple slices on a separate wire rack in a single layer.
- Turn on the oven to dehydrate mode and preheat oven to 140°F (60°C).
- Transfer racks of fruit into the oven. Let the fruit dry for 8 to 10 hours. The duration will depend on the thickness of the fruit.
- Remove from oven and place into air tight containers.
Dried Fruits in Oven Make Healthy Snacks
Dried fruits last a long time and they make healthy snacks. Except for the pineapple slices in pineapple juice, there is no additional sugar used. This plate of dried fruits is made up of 1 can of pineapple slices, 1 honey crisp apple, 4 clementines, 5 kiwi fruits, and 2 cara cara oranges. Maybe next time I will try pears, mangoes, persimmons, and guava if I can find them at the Asian grocery store.