A hands on activity (or demonstration)
For thousands of years, people have dried many foods to preserve them for leaner times. Preserving seasonal foods by drying is still useful and convenient, and it has the added advantage of conserving storage space.
Materials you will need
Home dehydrator (use product instructions)
Oven with drying racks & oven thermometer
Sun on drying racks if temperature is over 90 degrees and low humididty Fuyu persimmons - no blanching or sulfuring is necessary
Peel firm fruit
Slice 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
No pretreatment necessary but lime juice rinse is nice
Instructions for drying in the oven
Time: start early as possible, could be ready by the time teacher goes home
Preheat oven to 160 F (71 C), then maintain at 140
Spread prepared fruit on metal bakers' cooling racks or equivalent
Prop oven open 4 inches
From outside aim fan so air is directed across oven, vary position of fan
At end of drying, temperature goes up quickly. Watch it
Rotate trays every couple of hours
How do you know when its ready?
Touching is the way to know. Children should have clean hands to touch fruit
When the fruit is not sticky any more, it has lost most of its water (80-90%).
It's ready when the fruit feels leathery but not sticky.
How do you store dried Fuyu?
Let the dried fruit cool.
Put into an air free environment like sealed plastic bag or glass jar with lid.
What do you do with dried Fuyu?
Enjoy the fruit after drying to snack on or use in granola.
Cut up in hot or cold cereal and use as raisins or dates in recipes
Reconstitute with soaking in water to use in fruit salads or compotes.
Source: Drying Foods at Home, Leaflet 2785, Division of Agricultural Sciences, University of California, reprinted June 1981. Cooperative Extension. US Department of Agriculture, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
California Fuyu Growers Association
P.O. Box 1301 Valley Center, CA 92082