The apricot is one of the most popular summer fruits: in addition to its tangy and delicious flavor, it is a source of energy, rich in trace elements, vitamins, and fiber. So, to enjoy its taste and benefits outside the summer, why not make homemade dried apricots?
Drying garden fruits and vegetables is a great way to extend their shelf life. The technique takes a bit of time but is extremely simple.
Discover how to select the best fruits, prepare them for drying, preserve them, and enjoy them in the kitchen.
Select and Prepare the Apricots for Drying
The apricot harvest takes place between June and August, depending on the variety. The drying will therefore be carried out at this time when the fruits are fully ripe.
The climate will also be more conducive to drying fruit: the environment is warmer, and there is less humidity in the air.
To select the apricots to be dried, give preference to ripe, unspoiled fruits of similar size so that the fruits dry at the same rate.
The preparation of the fruits before drying is fast.
- Rinse the apricots under running water and pat them dry with a paper towel;
- Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and remove the pits. It is possible to cut the fruit into thinner slices to reduce the drying time;
- You can accommodate the apricots by sprinkling them with sugar, vanilla, or even cinnamon. Here, we present the most “natural” version, with no additions.
The Most Suitable Varieties of Apricots for Drying
For drying, favor varieties of apricots that are large enough, fleshy, very sweet, and as juicy as possible so that they are less rich in water.
To get the best-dried apricot, you can choose the varieties:
- ‘Canino,’ for its large, firm-fleshed sweet fruits
- ‘Bergeron’ for its very firm and fragrant flesh
- ‘Luizet’ For Its Large Caliber And Easy Pitting
How to Dry Fresh Apricots in the Oven?
All oven models can make dried apricots. The only difficulty consists in finding the right cooking balance: undercooked, the dried apricot will still contain moisture and will not keep well; overcooked, the taste will be altered and the texture less pleasant.
- Preheat your oven between 50°C to 60°C (select the lowest temperature possible).
- Spread the prepared apricots on a tray covered with parchment paper or on a Silpat-type baking sheet, spacing them out so that they do not touch each other.
- Dry for 10 to 12 hours on average. For more even cooking, turn the apricots regularly. From time to time, you can also open the oven door with a crack to let the humidity escape.
The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the apricots, the amount of fruit to be dried, and the temperature of the oven.
- many homes are already equipped with an oven
- the process is simple
THE – :
- The drying time is long and energy-consuming
How to Dry Apricots in the Dehydrator?
The drying of apricots in the dehydrator respects the same process as drying in the oven: a low temperature eliminates the water naturally present in the apricots.
- Place the prepared apricots on the tray(s).
- Leave to dry for several hours to a few days. The drying time will depend on several parameters: a model of the dehydrator, temperature, size, and ripening of the fruits.
- the process is simple
- the best way to get perfectly dried apricots
THE – :
- You must have an electrical device dedicated solely to drying.
- It takes long cooking but still consumes less energy than the oven.
How to Dry Apricots Naturally In the Sun?
The drying of fruits and vegetables in the sun is an ancient technique of food preservation, which made it possible to keep foodstuffs in anticipation of winter.
A dry atmosphere, a high temperature above 30°C, and hot nights. The Mediterranean climate or the scorching summer periods are conducive to drying apricots in the sun.
- Arrange the apricots on a wooden shelf, a crate, or a grid (any support that allows air to circulate), ensuring that they do not touch each other.
- Place the fruits in full sun, ideally with a South / South-West exposure in a well-ventilated place: roof, terrace, stairs, or balcony. You can also use – or build – a solar oven.
- Cover the fruits with a thin cloth, sheet, or tulle to protect them from dust and insects.
- Turn and inspect fruit regularly (ideally once a day), removing any spoiled apricots. Shelter them in the event of a humid night or bad weather to prevent the fruits from recharging with humidity.
Drying can take from a few days to several weeks.
- 100% natural technique
- 100% free technology
THE – :
- drying takes much longer and is more random since it depends on the external environment
- the technique requires regular attention
How To Store And Use Homemade Dried Apricots?
When the drying is complete, the apricots are still soft, but their skin is tanned, and the fruits no longer stick to the fingers.
You can also cut a piece of the fruit in the middle, where drying is slower, then press gently to check that the flesh is dry and without juice.
Storing Dried Apricots
Once the apricots have cooled, store them in airtight containers to prevent them from absorbing ambient humidity: glass jars and metal or plastic boxes.
Dried fruits will keep for at least a year in a dry place, away from light.
Use Dried Apricot In Cooking.
What can I do with dried apricots? Dried apricot can be eaten in many ways:
- plain as a snack or as an aperitif
- mixed in fruit juices or smoothies
- added to sauces, stews of vegetables or meat, oriental dishes such as tajine
- cut into pieces in salads
- in desserts, in pies sprinkled with slivered almonds and crumbles, or simply in yogurts
How to Swell Dried Apricots?
Finally, if you want to rehydrate a dried apricot, soak it in a glass of warm water or fruit juice for a few hours.
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