Learn how to dry apricots in the oven!
An apricot is a tiny, squishy stone fruit with a sweet flavor. Because of the meat’s sweetness, it is particularly well suited to drying. It is possible to dehydrate homemade dried apricots in the oven, which is great for those who don’t have any kind of special drying equipment. One of the best things about dried apricots is they are good as snacks or as ingredient additions in recipes.
How to Dry Apricots in the Oven
How to Choose Apricots for Drying
Apricots should be purchased or picked when they are completely ripe. When dried, under-ripe fruit can have a sour taste. If they are grown locally in your region, wait for “canning specials” at the end of the season when you can obtain ripe fruit that you can consume right away, rather than storing it to eat raw later.
Keep an eye out for large bargains at your neighborhood grocer. Depending on the year, they will be ripe in the late summer or anywhere between July and September, but not before.
Firm apricots can be ripened by putting them in a paper bag and hanging them on a window sill. If you are concerned that your apricots may grow overripe before you have enough time to dry them, you can store them in the fridge for up to a week before drying them.
How to Prepare Apricots for Drying
Clean your apricots properly before drying them. Rinse them well under running water after soaking them for a few minutes to release the dirt and grime. Any apricots that are bruised should be thrown away.
Pit the apricots and set them aside. It is necessary to cut them in half along the indentation, after which the pit may be removed. Turn the halves inside out and set them aside. Increase the amount of flesh exposed to the air by pushing the outer center up. You will dry them with the flesh facing up. There is no need to remove the apricot skin because it is safe to eat.
Apply vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, to your apricots before drying them to prevent them from getting discolored and to help retain their nutritional content during the drying process. Pour one quart of water into a plastic bag and add one teaspoon of crushed 500 mg vitamin C pills. Allow the apricots to soak in the solution for five minutes, shaking the bag every minute to ensure that the fruit is completely coated.
Alternatively, you may spill some lemon juice on the apricots (1 cup lemon juice to 1-quart water) to keep them from browning.
How to Dry Apricots Using an Oven
Drying apricots in the oven is a super easy task. How you do it depends on how low your oven goes.
- Step One: Preparing a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. If you have a wire rack, you can use that on top of the baking sheet in place of parchment paper. The good news is the wire rack will speed up the drying process.
- Step Two: Place the apricot halves on a rack or directly on the paper, depending on your preference. Check that they are evenly spaced apart.
- Step Three: Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature. They’ll dry better at temperatures below 200 degrees, ideally 150 degrees (50 – 93 degrees Celsius).
For ovens that do not dip below 200 degrees Fahrenheit, dry them for eight hours at this temperature. Place the dried apricots in a plastic bag or a glass container in a warm, dry location. Shake the container twice a day until it is fully dry and no moisture beads have formed within. If moisture beads emerge, remove the fruit and bake the apricots for an additional two hours at 200 degrees.
- Step Four: The oven racks should be spaced several levels apart. Place the baking sheets with racks in the oven after being allowed to preheat.
- Step Five: Allow at least 10 to 12 hours for the apricots to dry, check hourly. Turning them halfway through will help to promote equal drying. They should be slightly soft yet leathery in texture when they are finished.
The total amount of time required to dry apricots in the oven will vary based on their size and the temperature at which they are dried. It will dry in less time at 175 degrees than at 150 degrees. Just keep in mind that higher temperature increases the risk of burning the apricots.
How to Store Dried Apricots
Dried apricots should be stored in dry, clean home canning jars, plastic freezer bags, or containers with tight-fitting lids. You might also want to think about vacuum sealing your items.
The removal of air is accomplished by vacuum sealing. Mold and moisture are kept away from the dried apricots due to this. Consequently, a vacuum sealer may be a worthwhile purchase if you plan to dry apricots or other fruits regularly.