The following fruit
drying recipes cover both evaporation by artificial heat and by solar
heat. The latter method gives satisfactory results only in climates that
are free from frequent summer rains. The general principles of fruit
drying will be found discussed in Chap. XII. This chapter should be read
in connection with the recipes.
(75) Sun Drying
Apricots, Pears, Peaches, and Apples.
1. Apricots, peaches, and
apples are allowed to ripen on the trees. Pears are picked when they are
full size but still hard and are allowed to ripen in lug boxes or on
piles of straw. Fruit for drying must be ripe but not so soft that it
will melt down on the drying trays.
2. Cut apricots and
peaches in half and remove pits. Peaches may be lye or hand peeled (see
Recipe 2), but this is not necessary. Cut pears in half; do not peel.
Peel, core, and cut apples in rings about 1/4 inch thick (see apple
peeler, Figs. 4 and 58). Place the fruit on trays. These are made of
shakes or thin lumber and are 2 x 3 ft., 6 x 3 ft., or 8 x 3 ft.
usually. If trays are not available use paper or cloth or wire screen or
any flat surface exposed to the sun.
3. Sulphuring. Fig. 39
illustrates a sulphur box. Any closed space in which the trays of fruit
may be stacked and exposed to the fumes of burning sulphur may be used.
An old pan may be used to hold the sulphur. Place the trays of fruit in
the sulphuring house. Place enough sulphur in a pan to burn for the
required length of time (see time given below), 5 lbs. per ton will be
enough for most fruits. Light the sulphur. This can be done by placing
sorie shavings in the pan, lighting these and pouring the sulphur on
them. Place the burning sulphur in the sulphur house and close the door.
Expose apples to the burning sulphur fumes 30 min.; apricots and peaches
3 hours and pears 6 hours. Sulphuring prevents the fruits darkening and
molding during drying.
4. Place the fruit in the
sun to dry. Dry until it becomes leathery and tough but not brittle. A
better product will be obtained if the trays are stacked one above the
other in stacks of 10 or 12 trays each when the fruit is about V4 dry.
It will then finish drying in the shade and will be of more uniform
5. Sweating. Sweating
consists of equalization of the moisture content. Put the dried fruit in
large boxes or in bins and leave a week or 10 days. It is then ready for
selling to the packing house.
6. Processing. If the
fruit is for home use and is not to be sold to a packing house, it must
be sterilized to prevent its being spoiled by insects that come from in-
sect eggs deposited on the fruit during drying. To do this plunge the
fruit into violently boiling water for about 1 min. Drain. Dry on trays
in the sun for a few hours. The dipping destroys insects and their eggs.
7. Packing and Storing.
Pack the fruit in heavy paper bags or in jars or other insect proof
containers. Plain cloth or burlap bags are not insect proof. Store in a
8. Precautions. A dry
rainless climate is essential to successful sun drying. In case of rain,
stack the trays one above the other and cover with a rain shedding
cover, or bring the fruit indoors until the rain has passed. Do not use
wood for trays that will give a disagreeable flavor or color to the
(76) Sun Drying Prunes.
1. Allow fruit to ripen
thoroughly on the trees, and if possible permit it to drop from the
trees before picking.
2. Dipping. Prepare a lye
solution of 1/2 an oz. of lye per gallon of water. This will be
approximately 1/2 a tablespoonful per gallon or 5 oz. per 10 gallons.
Heat this to boiling in an iron or agateware pot; aluminum dissolves.
Place the prunes in a wire basket. Immerse them in the boiling lye
solution long enough to check or crack the skins slightly over the
entire surface. This will require about 10 seconds. The time will vary
with the variety of the fruit and its condition. Rinse in cold water
after the lye dipping.
3. Spread on trays and
dry in the sun. It will usually be necessary to occasionally stir or
turn the fruit on the trays during drying to prevent sticking to the
trays and molding.
4. Stacking the Trays.
When the fruit is about three- fourths dried stack the trays one above
the other and allow drying to complete. This will prevent overdrying and
gives a more evenly dried product.
5. Storing and
Processing. As for apricots. (See Recipe 75.)
(77) Drying Thompson
Seedless and Sultana Grapes.
1. Raisin making requires
a dry hot climate free from rains. Dip the ripe grapes in a lye solution
as directed for prunes. Rinse in water.
2. Unsulphured Raisins.
Dry in the sun until three-fourths dry. Stack the trays and allow drying
to complete. During drying it will be necessary to turn the grapes by
inverting one tray over another. This is done when the grapes are dried
about one half. It is done to equalize drying. This gives a brown
raisin. If a bleached, white raisin is desired, proceed as directed in
3. Sulphured Raisins. If
a bleached white product is desired, place the (lipped grapes on trays
and expose to fumes of burning sulphur for 3 hours. Then dry in the sun
in usual way.
(78) Drying Muscat and
1. These varieties are
not dipped or sulphured. Pick when ripe. Spread on trays and expose to
2. When about one-half
dry turn the grapes by placing an empty tray over the loaded tray. Turn
the two quickly and remove the upper one. This exposes to the sun the
grapes that were previously on the bottom of the bunches and next to the
3. When the grapes are
about three-fourths dry, stack the trays and allow the grapes to finish
drying in the stack.
(79) Packing Raisins.
1. Raisins are usually
commercially packed as follows: The stems are removed by stemming
machine. The seeds of Muscat raisins are removed by a seeding machine.
The raisins are packed in wax paper-lined cartons. They must be stored
secure from insects. Dipping in boiling water before packing will kill
(80) Sun Drying
1. Cherries may be dried
in the same way as directed for prunes or may be dried without dipping.
(81) Sun Drying Figs.
1. Allow time figs to
partially dry oil trees and drop of their own accord. A dry hot climate
2. Place on trays and dry
in the sun.
3. Bleaching. If a
bleached fig is desired, dip the dried white figs in boiling water for
about 3 min. Expose to sulphur fumes 3 hours. Dry in the sun.
4. Packing and Storing.
Commercially the dried figs are slit from stem to calyx on one side and
spread flat. They are packed and pressed into bricks. These are wrapped
in paraffined paper and placed in cartons. For home use they may be
sterilized by dipping in boiling water 1 min.; drying a short time and
then packing in insect proof containers.
(82) Drying Fruits in
1. In rainy or moist
climates, or late in the season, artificial dryers may become necessary.
Build one to suit your needs. (See Chap. XII, par. 67, for description
and figures of evaporators.) Trays with wire screen bottoms will be
needed to facilitate the passage of heat. A thermometer will be
2. Prepare the fruit for
drying as previously described under Recipes 75 to 81, inclusive, and
place on the dryer trays. If the fruit is to be sulphured, sulphur as
directed in preceding recipes.
3. Apples. Start the
evaporator at 110º F. and gradually raise to 140° F. near the end of
drying. They should dry in 8 hours or less. Apples should be sulphured
for 20 min. before drying.
4. Apricots and Peaches.
A temperature of 120° F. may be used to start.. Gradually increase to
140°. F. They should be dry in 6 hours.
5. Berries. Dry very
slowly at first (110º to 120° F.), for about 2 hours, starting at 110°
F. and gradually reaching 120° F. in the above time. Gradually increase
to 130° F. and complete most of the drying at this temperature. Too
rapid heating causes dripping and melting. They should dry in 5 hours.
6. Cherries. Start at
110° F. and increase slowly to 150° F. About 4 hours will he necessary.
7. Pears. Dry after
cutting in half and sulphuring 6 hours. Start at 110° F. and increase
slowly to 140° F.
Or peel, core, cut in eighths and dry without sulphuring as above.
8. Prunes. Dip as in
Recipe 76. Dry as directed for cherries above.
9. Grapes. All grapes
should be dipped in boiling lye solution of 1/2 oz. per gallon, and
rinsed in cold water before drying. See .Recipe 77. Start drying at 110º
F. and increase to 140° F. Temperatures above 140° F. will give a
"scorched " or caramelized taste to the raisins.
10. Figs. Allow to dry as
much as possible on the trees. Place in the evaporator. Start at 110º F.
and increase slowly to 140° F.
11. Processing and
Storing. Artificially evaporated fruits contain no insect eggs. As soon
as dry, pack in insect proof packages and store in a dry place.