Sunday 6 January 2013

Homemade Dehydrated Fruit Crisps

For Christmas my Grandmother gave me a food dehydrator. Some people may consider this a strange present or think that she was trying to prepare me for some global event that meant I had to preserve my own food, but to me this was a fabulous present. My grandmother shares my love of fruit and knows I enjoy dried fruit too, both to snack on and bake with. She also knows how I love kitchen gadgets and experimenting in the kitchen. This way I get to experiment making my own dried fruit!

The machine works by layering up tiers of fruit slices on slatted racks which allows the air to circulate. You can then set the machine to a chosen temperature and leave it to heat up and circulate the hot air around the fruit slices. The water in the fruit is evaporated off, leaving you with your very own homemade dried fruit. No preservatives or extra sugar required meaning they are super healthy.

I decided to start things off simply, by dehydrating some slices of apple and pear. The machine comes with a little booklet advising on drying times and temperatures but didn’t state how thick or thin and slices needed to be. I decided on fairly thin slices and then left the machine to do its thing.

A few hours later they were done. I may have cut my slices a little too thinly as they were a little thin and crisp, rather than soft and chewy. However, they were packed full of flavour, as the fruits natural sugars and juices intensified as they dried. On eating, they become wonderfully chewy. I had some on my cereal this morning and it made a lovely addition to the nuts and raisin already in the mix. I’ve put the rest in a container on my kitchen table and keep snacking on them every time I walk past. They’re addictive, like fruit crisps. My favourite is the pear, the flavour is just so intense.

Next time I’m going to try large chunks and slices to see if I can get some squashier fruit chunks. I’m also longing to try some dehydrated veg chips - carrots, beetroot etc. I tried kale chips at a food show once; they were horrendously experience, now I can make my own – ohhh the possibilities!! Thanks Grandma, you know me so well!


The Caked Crusader said...

I've often looked at these but resisted. I will be very interested to see the uses you find for it over the coming months!

Gail said...

I bought one for the hubby a few years ago and he loves his. He makes his beef jerky in it. So good. He's also done fruit but my fave is his jerky :)

Johanna GGG said...

great gift - I have never got too interested in dehydrator for raw food but I love dried fruit and I even noticed this morning how dark our dried apricots are because they haven't been used quickly enough - fresh dried fruit makes a huge difference

Caroline said...

What a fabulous present - it's always such a nice surprise when you realise someone knows you well enough to buy something you didn't even think of buying!