The summer brings with it so many great fruits. Watermelons, mangoes, cherries, figs, peaches, and bright green kiwis. But here in Nebraska, summer pops in and then pops out. So, you gotta get these fruits while you can. And make all the compotes, crisps, cakes, and cobblers you can. Or you can preserve summer with fruit jerky and enjoy it for just a bit longer.
What Makes Fruit Jerky So Great?
Drying fruit is probably my favorite thing ever. It’s simple, one ingredient, and so tasty.
Watermelon is probably my most favorite to dry. It has a really unexpected flavor that you wouldn’t think would come from watermelon.
Mango comes as a close second and then kiwi is just so cute I had to dry them.
These make such a great portable snack. I like them before a road trip, on a trail, or for a long plane ride.
Here’s How You Make It…
Start by prepping the fruit. Mangoes are easy. You just cut around the stone and slice into 1/4 inch slabs.
The kiwi is also a fun one. You just slice it into rounds. Then you can either cut off the skin. Or, using a circle cookie cutter, cut out little kiwi rounds.
Watermelon is the messy one. First cut the melon in half and then make a grid pattern with your cuts on the surface.
Then slice off the white end and the rind. Cut the melon flesh into 1/4 inch strips and you are good to go.
Load them onto the trays of a dehydrated. I use the RONCO dehydrator that heats to about 133 F.
As a natural preservative I like to brush the fruit with lime juice and even sprinkle some chili powder on it for an added kick.
Summer Fruit Jerky
makes: however much you please
- chili powder
- Start by turning on or preheating your dehydrator.
- Prep your fruit by peeling or chopping then brush with lime juice.
- Place onto the trays of a dehydrator and stack the trays with the vents open.
The mango takes about 14 hours to dry. watermelon takes between 18-24 hours, and kiwi can take anywhere from 6-12 hours to fully dry.
It’s really not much of a science. Just dry the fruit til it’s leathery and doesn’t feel moist in the center.
As you go, some fruit may be done sooner than others so just remove them and continue drying. The trays do need a good rotation every four hours or so.