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drying blueberries

 
steward
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I love blueberries. And I love dried fruit. Though have you ever tried to dry blueberries? I've tried a couple times but always gave up because they were taking so long.

Michigansnowpony has a simple trick for making it work:

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My favorite way to dry almost any fruit is as fruit leather. Blend it, pour it out, spread level, dry it. Dries quick this way, rolls up and keeps well. It also allows you to cram a huge amount of fruit into one load in the dryer, and try crazy fruit mixtures. I usually use parchment paper and since it's hard to find unbleached, I've found from experimenting that you can reuse your sheets many times without anything sticking to them.

I haven't tried the freezer method that she did, but I have had good success with cutting the berries in half. They dried in under 12 hours and kept well. Yes this method is tedious, but hey, you can't win em' all. When I'm less motivated the fruit leather is my choice.
 
pollinator
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Blueberries do take forever to dry! I used a closed greenhouse when I was living in GA that would hit 130 degrees on a sunny day and ran a fan on the screens continuously....it still took nearly a week for them to dry to the point of keeping without molding....
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Austin Max wrote:My favorite way to dry almost any fruit is as fruit leather. Blend it, pour it out, spread level, dry it. Dries quick this way, rolls up and keeps well. It also allows you to cram a huge amount of fruit into one load in the dryer, and try crazy fruit mixtures. I usually use parchment paper and since it's hard to find unbleached, I've found from experimenting that you can reuse your sheets many times without anything sticking to them.

I haven't tried the freezer method that she did, but I have had good success with cutting the berries in half. They dried in under 12 hours and kept well. Yes this method is tedious, but hey, you can't win em' all. When I'm less motivated the fruit leather is my choice.



I hadn't thought of using blueberries in fruit leather - I imagine it would be more efficient in a number of ways.

When I used to make fruit leather, the advice was to always use at least some applesauce so that the apple pectin would help give it a cohesive texture. Have you found that some mixtures work or hold together better than others?
 
Austin Max
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I have never had any mixture or plain blended fruit that was to runny to make fruit leather, and I've never had a failed batch of any fruit. The last batch of blueberries/wild blackberry mix I did this summer I had a huge jug full of blended berries and by the time I was on the last few sheets I could hardly pour it out because it was already the consinstency of jam.
Most fruit has at least some pectin. Theoretically you could make some tasty fruit leather from grape juice if you could get it to stay put, which is probably where the applesauce theory comes from. It's more for making it less runny for pouring sheets than
consistancy of the finished leather. I've also heard of adding yogurt but I've never done it. I guess my advice would be to play it by ear, blend some stuff up and if it's too runny then add the applesauce. My experience with raw apples is that they quickly turn to apple crisp if you aren't careful, but its also tasty -
great addition to salads.
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