How To Dry Apricots?
Want to learn how to dry apricots? Choose the best method for dehydrating apricots from the list.
Whenever you eat fresh fruits, there is a blast of flavors in your mouth that most of you like to savor. Even though the taste of fresh fruit is unparalleled, sometimes you have to preserve these fruits for later use or add a different flavor profile to your dish. However, the problem with this is that fresh fruits can’t be stored. So, the only option you have is to dry them and remove all the moisture to be stored for later use. The same can be done with apricots. This specific fruit variety has become one of the favorite items for many people, thanks to its fantastic flavor profile. But, since you are willing to preserve it for later use, we will discuss how to dry apricots.
What Is An Apricot? Where Is It Grown?
Apricots (खुबानी) are one of the most commonly grown fruits closely related to other varieties like plum, cherries, and peaches. The fruit’s outer peel layer has a combination of orange and yellow colors, which darkens till it becomes utterly orange as the fruit ripens. Once you cut it into half, you will find a single seed inside, sitting right at the center, as you can find in an avocado.
The fruit almost looks like a peach, but it is juicier and almost has a feel of orange. Even though there are speculations about the American origin of the fruit, it is now cultivated worldwide. However, if you look at the statistics, you will see that the plant survives well enough in dry conditions. This is why drying the fruit seems to be a more favored idea than using the fresh version. So, if you want to learn about how to dry apricots, here is the detailed guide for you.
How To Dry Apricots?
As we have said earlier, this fruit is usually grown in dry conditions. So, even if you learn how to dry apricots and prepare them, you won’t lose the dried fruit’s flavor and fragrance. Here, we have described all the possible ways of drying this amazing peach-family, juicy fruit at your home. Let’s start!
Freeze Drying Apricots
The very first method of how to dry apricots that we will be discussing is the freeze-drying method. It is one of the best ways to preserve these juicy fruits if you want to use it for sweet and savory purposes. Here’s how you can complete the process carefully!
- First, gather a few well-ripened apricots either from the market or from your home garden. Ensure that the fruit doesn’t contain a green speck, both on the peel and inside flesh. Also, since free-drying is mainly done to preserve the freshness, be sure to use freshly harvested fruits.
- Once you have collected the fruits, wash them thoroughly and remove all the peel dirt, if present. Once done, dry the outer cover and peel off the fruit. Cut it into half, revealing two fleshy halves of the fruit, with a seed sitting inside. Use a knife to remove the seed, or you can use a spoon to scoop it out.
- Once done, cut the fruits into slices having an average thickness. Be sure not to make it super thin or super thick since freeze-drying doesn’t work on these slices.
- After cutting the slices, place them over a tray in a single layer. Leave at least a distance of five millimeters between two slices of each row and column. Once you have arranged all the slices in the tray, insert it into the freezer to dehydrate apricots.
- Be sure to place the tray close to the air vent, which releases the cold air so that the drying process will take a shorter time. Leave it inside for two to three days since apricot is high in water, and it will take longer for that moisture to get frozen.
- Check at least twice to thrice a day to gauge the extent of drying apricots. If the fruit slices haven’t changed the color at the end of two days, you have to leave them for another day to complete the process.
Making Dehydrated Apricots In A Dehydrator
Dehydrators are one special kind of appliance that uses it to dry the fruits or the vegetables only. It contains different setting options with varying timer-temperature combinations. These applications come in different shapes, starting from circular to rectangular. Irrespective of the shape you are choosing, each dehydrator contains numerous trays which allow drying of multiple slices of food or herb stalks at the same time. So, here is a detailed method for drying apricots in dehydrator.
- Take fresh but ripened apricots to ensure that the fruit contains an even amount of water in it. If you are buying the fruit from the market, make sure that it is a fresh harvest. Do not buy spoilt fruit since apricots can quickly rot.
- Once you have gathered the fruit, wash it thoroughly with normal water, and then pat the fruit with a paper towel to dry the peel. Do not leave the fruit with water on its surface because that might alter the same freshness.
- Peel off the fruit carefully without removing a chunk of the flesh. Cut it into two halves such that the seed remains stuck to one half and comes out of the other. Use a knife or a spoon to take out the seed from inside the fruit.
- After this, cut the fruit in equal slices, having a thin width. Do not make thick slices since they will take much longer to be dried. Once all the fruit has been cut, place them on the trays of the dehydrator.
- Make single row arrangements having a single-layered slice. Make sure you are leaving a minimal gap between adjacent slices for regulating the proper flow of the air.
- Once the arrangement is complete, put the tray inside the dehydrator and close the door. Set the temperature to fifty-seven degrees and then set the time to twelve hours. It takes this long to dry the fruit slices, owing to the apricot’s high water content. This is the best process to learn how to dry apricots at home.
When you plan to prepare sun dried apricots, you need to infuse some flavor into the fruit. That’s the reason why this particular drying method is so different from others. Here are steps that you need to follow closely to know how to dry fruit in the sun.
- First, choose a fresh collection of apricot. Make sure that the apricots from the market are fresh and free of any bugs or green parts. If you are picking up the fruit from your garden, choose a dry day for the harvesting.
- Once you have collected the fruit, peel it off carefully. Then, dip the entire fruit into boiling water. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt or sea salt and let the fruit boil for another couple of minutes. Once done, take the fruit out and then split it into half to take out the seed.
- After this, cut the halves into thin slices. Make these slices as thin as possible since the sun-drying technique needs thinner width. After cutting them, place them neatly on a drying rack such that your arrangement consists of multiple rows having a minimal gap between them with a single-layered fruit.
- Place the drying tray at a position that receives an ample amount of sunlight during the day. Do not forget to place cheesecloth over the fruit since keeping it out in the open will attract the flies and bugs. These insects will indeed contaminate the fruit, rendering the sun dried apricots unfit for eating.
- You will have to spray the lemon juice over these apricot slices at least thrice a day to prevent the fruit from developing a brown color. Leave the arrangement under sunlight for at least three to four days. Check at the end of the fourth day whether the slices have become crisp or not. If you think that the fruit still contains water, you need to leave the slices for another day out in the sun.
Since you are learning how to dry apricots using the sunlight, you should know that this is a very unpredictable method since it completely depends on the weather.
Dehydrating Apricots In A Microwave Oven
If you want to learn how to dry apricots using the microwave oven, you first have to arrange for a plate that will hold a maximum number of slices at a time and yet will fit into the oven easily. If you already have such a plate with you, let’s find out how you can use the microwave machine for drying the fruit.
- Collect fresh, well-ripened fruits by ensuring that the entire peel has become yellow or orange without a green speck. Once you will collect the fruits, wash the fruit in normal water and then tap the surface to dry it out.
- Peel off the fruit to reveal the fleshy part of the inside. Cut it into two halves such that the kernel will remain sticking to only one half. Use a knife or a spoon to remove this kernel and then cut the fruit into thin slices. You can also make average slices because homemade dried apricots take less time in the microwave oven than other steps we have discussed today.
- Place the slices on the plate so that you leave an ample amount of space between each piece. Do not overcrowd the entire arrangement or make multiple slice layers at a single spot.
- After setting the microwave to defrost, place the plate inside, and close the door. For the first time, set the timer for thirty minutes. Once the timer goes off, take out the tray and then flip the fruits over so that you can dry the surface in the next batch.
- Reinsert the tray and again set the timer of fifteen minutes. Drying the other surface will take less time because the slices have lost the maximum amount of water during the first thirty minutes.
- Do not forget to check the pace of the drying process every five to ten minutes. Since apricots contain much water, the overall drying process might take up to forty-five to one hour. This is how to dry apricots in microwave.
Dry Apricots In An Oven
For using the oven to learn how to dry apricots, you need to have a drying rack, paper towel, fresh apricots, and a fully functional appliance. To learn how to make dried apricots in the oven, you need to:
- Make sure you are choosing fresh fruits to avoid any sort of contamination. Once you have peeled off the fruit, take out the kernel from inside and then cut the halves into thin slices.
- Place these slices onto the drying rack in a way where there will be a single layer of the slice. Leave an ample amount of gap between the slices in all directions to allow the heat flow across the tray evenly.
- After you are done with the arrangement, place the tray inside the oven and turn the temperature to fifty degrees Celsius. Set the time to thirty minutes, which is enough time to shrivel the fleshy slices.
- Once the alarm will go off, increase the oven temperature to sixty-five degrees, and leave the fruit inside for another fifteen to twenty minutes to complete the drying process.
- You will need to keep the door slightly ajar throughout the process so that the moisture can easily escape from inside the oven without delaying the slices’ drying further. This is how to dry apricots in the oven.
So, these are a few ways you can opt and learn how to dry apricots at home.
Here, we have discussed five different methods of how to dry apricots easily at home. Now you need to weigh the pros and cons of each method and then choose the most convenient one from the list. Once you follow the entire steps we have mentioned, you will complete the drying method successfully.