Friday, March 2, 2012

In the Kitchen - Dried Fruit

Bubba goes through A LOT of dried fruit daily. He is a huge fan of Funky Monkey Pink Pineapple, and can eat 2 or 3 packages a day. But at $2.50 per 1 oz package, it's not the cheapest snack around.

So I began experimenting with making my own dried fruit. I make my own fruit leather - how hard can drying fruit be? It's kinda the same, right?

Turns out, it was a little more difficult than I thought. I started out with pineapple {since it's his favorite; except, he won't eat it fresh - weirdo}. I didn't bother taking a picture of the pile of yuck that came out of my oven. After 4 hours, it never really dried, it just turned into dark brown blobs.

After wasting a whole bag of frozen pineapple, I decided to take a different approach.

I picked 4 fruits I had on hand - blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries - and I just used a little of each. After all, I really didn't want to waste too much more, fruit isn't cheap, ya know? All but the blueberries were frozen.

I read here to set the oven to 210º, but I did the pineapple at 200º and failed, so I set the oven to 170º and left them in for 4 hours. 

The Results

The blackberries and blueberries were the clear winners. Fresh or frozen - they did well.

The raspberries would have been a success also, had I baked them alone. They dried faster than the others {since they are smaller}, so I should have taken them out sooner.

And my poor strawberries were a disaster. I should have cut them smaller. They were just too thick and never seemed to dry out.

I'm determined to get the pineapple to work, so I will be trying that again - once I get to the store, it's only been oooooohhhh 2 weeks. {don't worry, I'm not starving my kid}

Happy Cooking!

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