Soft fruit season. Part of me loves it and part of me dreads it. What to do with all the fruit off the trees? My new answer – DEHYDRATE it. So if you are in the UK this may sounds a bit crazy, most people who I have mentioned it to have raised at least 1 eyebrow at me. But it’s such a great way to use up that glut of fruit without being swamped in jam. I have already made 1 batch of jam, frozen tubs and tubs or fruit, made fruity flapjacks, cakes and given some fruit away…. and I still have 1 more fruit tree to strip bare. I would be drowning in fruit, except…. drumroll please… the dehydrator of glory is here.
I had been slyly eyeing one of these up for months and months, when one night I had a toddler who wouldn’t settle, an Iphone in my hand and an Amazon App. It’s a dangerous combination. Dehydrator researched and bought before the toddler had shut his eyes. My husband’s reaction when it arrived “What on earth is that” has since been turned to “How many tiers does it have and what temperature shall I set it too”. It’s a hit.
The first thing I dehydrated was courgette. Now that was a bit odd I grant you. However tonight I used the dehydrated courgette in our dinner and it was great. Apparently you can dehydrate cheese – which makes no sense to me, why do that to a perfectly good piece of cheese? Dehydrating gluts of fruit makes far, far more sense. You end up with sweet, chewy chunks of goodness that you can use for snacking, baking and storing for future nibbling.
So here is how I’ve done it:
Slice the fruit and destone. With greengages and plums I like to leave them in halves, it takes longer to dehydrate but you end up with a nicer dried fruit. Anything larger you will want to slice up.
If you have a dehydrator then line then either line the trays with baking parchment or be prepared to scrub them a little after 😉
Dehydrate at 65 C for 12-24 hrs, rotate the trays a few times, when they have changed colour and have lost most of their moisture. It really depends on the size of the fruit as to how long they will take. I like popping the dehydrater on on
If you do not have a dehydrator then you can use your oven. I’ve not tried it in the oven with plums/greengages but I have done it with apples. Put your oven on it’s lowest setting and spread the sliced fruit out baking trays lined with baking parchment. It will take several hours so be prepared to check hourly.
Store in a kilner jar/sterile jam jar or airtight container.
Delicious, healthy snacking.