Easy steps my sister and I followed for sun-drying apricots.
1. Scrub up at least two old flyscreens. We got some on the cheap at the dump. I mean, refuse site. The endorphins are really doing their thing, even at this early stage.
2. Get some tree-ripe fruit. Ideally, pick it yourself. If you can’t, visit a farmers’ market. Or even, give me a buzz or email at Newton Brothers Orchards. Locals or visitors can pick-up orders from us on Fridays.
3. Slice or halve ripe summer fruits, then place on the bottom screen in a sunny spot. We used my sister’s north-facing deck.
4. Fully cover with top screen to keep out flies and bugs, secure sides with weights (eg rocks or bricks. Or books, if you’re into those..)
5. Are there hungry ants nearby? If so, place screens on a table, and place the table legs in buckets of water.
6. Keep checking and tasting! Protect from rain. Bring in at night if it’s really cold or humid.
7. When fully dried, serve up for snacks (like on a cheese plate) or save in a sealed jar. Mmmm!
And there are no preservatives aside the natural sugars already in the fruit. This is so satisfying, Thanks to my sister for her photos and, uh, basically doing all the work. Ahem. It’s our first trial, so I’ll report back later in the year about how long they last, if we have any problems with mould and so on. We figure if we dry them and store them in a dry place, all should be well. Plenty more fruits on the way, we’re going to try this technique on more plums, pears, and new season apples soon.