Here at Indigo architects we are interested in all the ways we can use the sun to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy! Here our Principal Jon Hammond, demonstrates how to sun dry fruit. In this example, he used apricots. He has dried many kinds of fruits and vegetables in the sun with very delicious results. Solar drying is fool proof in our dry western climate, in this video we are drying them at outside our office and studio in Davis, California.
1) Choose Very ripe fruit. The riper the better. In the case of apricots, soft ripe fruit makes sweet sun dried fruit.
2) You will need some sort of drying tray. Jon is using Asian drying baskets, but any similar type tray will work.
3) You will need a sharp knife to cute the fruit in half. Discard the pits and any fruit that may be rotten.
4) Place the Apricots on your tray in a single layer as close together as possible, the fruit will shrink as it dries.
5) Place the tray in direct sunlight. The more sun the fruit is exposed to each day, the faster it will dry.
6) In the warm and dry Central Valley weather, it will typically 3-6 days for the fruit to completely dry. Completion time will depend on the temperature and the size of the fruit.
7) As the apricots dry, they will change from an orange to a brownish color. Once the apricots have reached a leathery texture, they are done drying.
8) Bag them and freeze for a few weeks, to kill any possible contaminants.
When frozen, they can be defrosted anytime and will be good to eat for up to one year. Enjoy, your sun dried preservative free apricots!