How to Dry Fruit Without a Dehydrator

by Heather on July 17, 2012



I am so tired.  Tired from our trip to California.


Tired because I can’t seem to get to sleep at a decent hour these days.


Tired because I’m going 100% in my workouts and my body is exhausted.


Tired because I haven’t taken the time to just sit, alone with God, and pray and LISTEN to him.  There’s nothing wrong per se, I just feel spiritually exhausted in that I’m not giving myself the time to just rest in his loving arms.

That being said, this is going to be a short post but a good one for anyone who:

  1. Doesn’t have a dehydrator but loves dried fruit;
  2. Doesn’t want to spend money on a dehydrator or dried fruit;
  3. Wants to know exactly how their food is processed;
  4. Thinks it’s really cool to make fun things like dried lemons in their oven;
  5. Needs to just rest in the fact that the oven can do all the work except the cutting.

Just to note:  I’ve made lemons (great for steeping in hot water or even just putting in a glass of iced tea), apples, apricots and pears.  The cooking time for each varies based on how thick the fruit is sliced and the water content; the apricots were just halved and they have a really high water content so I left them in the oven overnight and woke up to perfectly chewy sweet morsels.  But if you’re looking for something quick, thinly-sliced apples and/or pears are the way to go!  Just let your imagination (and your oven) run wild!

Since this isn’t a exactly a recipe, here’s what you need to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 150-185 degrees (I have a convection option on mine which I love and recommend using if you have it.  If not it will still work just fine with a regular oven).
  • Place an oven-safe rack on a baking sheet.
  • Slice your fruit about 1/8-inch thin if you can; a mandolin would be ideal but I don’t have one so I just (carefully) used a sharp knife.
  • Lay the fruit slices on the baking sheet and place in the oven for anywhere from 4-12 hours (again, depending on thickness and water content).  For me the apples/pears took 4-5 hours, the lemons took 7-8 and the apricots took about 12.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

Just have to say I love you guys.  The end :)

**Edited to add this fun link of how to use the lemons!**

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Leave a Comment

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat July 17, 2012

Love this! There’s no way I’d ever drop the money on a dehydrator but love dried fruit.


2 McCormick & Murphy July 17, 2012

Yum! Dried fruit chips is one of my favorite snacks!


3 Urban Wife July 17, 2012

I’m praying for you to be rejuvenated! When I’m feeling spiritually parched and exhausted, my grandmother’s wise words ring true in my ears: “Keep God first and foremost by praying constantly and praying together with your husband”. All that to say, I know it’s tough but we’re all in this together and this life is the closest to hell we will ever be. :)

p.s. I love this idea of drying fruit without a dehydrator. I won’t be able to borrow my Mom’s dehydrator anymore once we move away so now I have just the solution. Thanks!


4 Sarah July 17, 2012

Breathe. Deeply. He’s not going anywhere. Just give him a shout out here and there during your day until you can dig back in. And I’ve never owned a dehydrator, so this is perfect.


5 Janelle July 18, 2012

Wow; I had no idea it was this simple. I’m going to try this!


6 Carly July 29, 2012

Sounds super simple! I want to try banana chips(: Just curious, what do you do with your dehydrated lemons?


7 Lauren October 23, 2012

What a great idea! I am making little gifts for the holidays for people that are “Holiday Potpourri Bags”. I want to dehydrate some apples, oranges and lemons and use them for the potpourri. I also make wreathes with the dried citrus slices, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Smells so wonderful and look beautiful! Now I don’t need to buy a dehydrator!

Here is a great gift idea for anyone wanting a nonfood item for holidays… (great for neighbors, etc)

Take 5 cinnamon sticks,
1 dried lemon slice,
1 dried orange slice,
3 dried apple slices,
1/2 c whole cloves,
1 T nutmeg,
1/4 c whole allspice
1 T bay leaf pieces

Put all in a bag, add a card that says “add water and heat over stovetop” and you have a great smelling holiday gift!

God bless :)


8 C December 4, 2012

That recipe above is a direct copy from another blog,
just thought credit should be given where due


9 Heather December 4, 2012

Hi C! I don’t see a recipe on the link that you listed, but I promise you that I did this solely on my own and have never heard of that site before. I do agree that credit should always be given where it’s due, and although I didn’t take this recipe from someone else, I’ll certainly list the link on this post as a great idea of how to use the dehydrated lemons.


10 Heather December 4, 2012

DOH! I see what you mean now…and yes, it is the same recipe! Sorry for the confusion! It’s in the post anyhow – thanks for the link C!


11 C December 4, 2012

sorry, yes, my bad.. I meant this link…
I haven’t tried that recipe out but I’m sure it smells delicious! I also really like the williams sonoma stovetop scent… lemon slices, rosemary sprigs, and vanilla. Not as Christmas-ey, but makes the house smell marvelous!


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