The Right Way to Dry Fruit in the Oven
I’ve spent a lot of money on dried fruit. Be it from a package or the bulk bin at my local health food store, I can’t get enough of the chewy-sweet-sour snack. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a dehydrator like Chandler’s creepy roommate Eddie on that episode of Friends in order to make dried fruit. You really just need an oven or a toaster oven.
Wash whatever fruit you’d like to use. It should be ripe, but not overly ripe—use juicy-ripe fruit in your next crumble. Peel it if it has a tougher skin (apple, plum, banana, apricot, mango, etc.). If you're using a larger fruit, slice it into ⅛-inch slices, discarding pits, stems, seeds, and cores. Blueberries, cranberries, grapes, and other small fruit can be left whole.
Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and place the fruit on it, leaving a bit of space in between each piece as though you were roasting vegetables. Slide the pan into the oven and leave the door slightly open.
Bake the fruit at 200 F, stirring every 30 minutes or so, until it’s dry and chewy. Depending on how watery the fruit is, this can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.
When the fruit is dried to your liking, turn off the oven and open the door all the way to cool it down. After 20 minutes or so, close the oven door and let the fruit sit for another few hours, or up to overnight.
Store dried fruit in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Toss it into granola, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, muffins, or quick breads, or just eat it as is.