Happy New Year, I hope this year is full of love and peace for you.
At the moment my year is full of...apricots.
Last summer we only grew a small number of fruit but two years ago we had a huge crop. I took to stewing and you can read about it here.
This year I have borrowed a Healthy Food Dryer to try something different. Read on for a little tutorial, tips and tricks.
Step 1. Gather your apricots.
2. Slice them thinly and remove stone.
I left most blemishes on the fruit but remove any that look yukky to eat.
Some larger apricots will need to be sliced into three or four pieces so the dryer can close neatly.
3. You can choose to soak the apricot pieces in lemon juice for a few minutes before placing on the drying racks to prevent browning. I did this the first time but, as usual, I am always looking for the quickest and easiest option so I skipped this step on subsequent drying loads as I found the browning wasn't too bad.
4. Place apricots on the drying racks. The picture below shows the fresh fruit spread out quite widely for optimum air flow, as the instructions suggest, but by my third or fourth batch I was placing them closer and still having good results.
5. Turn on machine for approximately 10-12 hours. Being sensitive to noise (and lots of other things!) I soon found that it was better to operate it over night or in a room not used as often as the kitchen during the day. The machine made a constant whirring fan like noise, not too bad, but not that great for everyday kitchen conversation either.
6. Stop to rotate the drying racks every 4 or so hours if you can for more even drying results.
7. Eat and share your delicious dried apricots!