How to Dry Fruit

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Today I’d like to talk about drying fruit. With winter decorating just around the corner I want to give you some tips on this great primitive decorating staple-dried fruit.

Drying your own fruit is a great way to add a primitive touch to your home this season. In the old days fruits were dried by stringing and hanging fresh fruits to dry on their own. The colors were perfect for Holiday decorating and so the colonists created this tradition and began hanging dried fruits on their mantels and doors.

Only the wealthiest colonist used pineapples and pomegranates and they would hang these on their doors for all to see.

While this tradition originated during the holidays you may just want to decorate with dried fruits all year long. Each season has its own bounty and may be the most cost effective way for you to dry and decorate. Some of the most popular fruits are oranges, apples, lemons. limes, cranberries and you may want to dry pumpkins, squash and even sweet potatoes.

To dry your fruit you will first want to gather up enough of your selected fruit to make your desired item. And if you decide to make a garland you’ll want to double the amount since the fruit will shrink as it dries.

Next slice your fruit into 1/4″ slices and you can go ahead and chunk your potaotes and pumpkins. You’ll want to let your cranberries whole, string them and let them dry on their own.

Now set your oven to a nice low temperature of 200 degrees F. Place your fruit onto a cookie sheet in a nice single layer and put in your oven. Periodically your going to check your fruit to see how its doing and at this time go ahead and flip and stir the pieces around. This drying method could take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to dry. You could also use a food dehydrator.

If you plan on making a garland take your fruit out before its completely dry and using a needle and strong thread or string make your garland. Your fruit will finish drying on its own just like in the colonial times. Mix and match your dried fruits and you can even add cinnimon sticks and bay leaves.

You may want to sprinkle on some cinnamon to your slices before drying to add a great look

to your fruit and it smells divine too. Your dried fruit will look great as a garland or placed in wooden bowls or old jars and crocks. Make it into a wreath or hang on your twiggy tree. You can decorate your mantel or even your front door. Make little hang tags and place it on your presents for a nice homemade touch. If you’re a crafter you can use these to tie with wrapphia to your potpourri bags. Or give your dolly a little garland of her own to hold.

You can purchase dried artichokes and pomegranates on my site at http://www.briarpatchprim.com . Be sure to get yourself a bag or two. They are a must have to fill those old dough bowls.

Until next time have fun decorating and go to my contact page of my site send me an email and let me know what you think of my segments and of any requests for future shows.

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Published in: on November 8, 2007 at 3:00 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for such a simple, clear set of instructions. I have just sliced an orange and left it to dry out naturally, turning now and again. I think the pieces are beginning to discolour and go mouldy, will this not work?

    • I’ve never had much luck with just air drying anything other than the cranberries. I use either the oven set at low temp or a food dehydrator.

  2. Would you have details on how to dry artichokes and pomegranates as I would like to use these for a cornucopia workshop I am holding.

    • I’ve only ever dried sliced apples and oranges but, I would suggest following the same as in the article. Dry them on a low temp oven. Or if you live in a dry climate or have a woodstove you could lay the poms and artichokes out to dry. I would turn them regularly. The pomegranates will be done when you hear the seeds rattle inside. These two foods make for beautiful arrangements.

  3. Hi! I would like to make some cranberry garland for my Christmas tree this year. I see from the above that I can string the cranberries fresh, and let them dry on their own. My question is, do I hang them up to dry? How will temperature affect their drying? Should I put them in my basement or attic, or doesn’t it really matter? Thank you!!

    • They need to be in placed in a dry area. I’m leary of the basement. If your attic is very dry that may work.


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