For many gardeners too many fruit and vegetables can appear at one time in the garden. You can’t eat the same ones with every meal and although many can be put in the freezer it’s nice to have a variety of options come winter. Drying fruit is one alternative to freezing or preserving and raspberries lend themselves particularly well to the drying process. You can buy dehydrators which plug in and use less energy, or you can use the good old fashioned oven. We talk you through both methods here.
Wash the raspberries in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel or cloth. Make sure the middles and stalks have been removed.
Arrange the raspberries on the drying racks of the dehydrator, leaving spaces between each fruit. Fill up as many trays as you can.
Turn on the dehydrator and leave it for three to four hours, depending on the power of your dehydrator. Check your raspberries every hour after this to see how they are going. Remember to check the bottom racks each time because these will dry quickest.
When they are ready – you will be the judge of this – remove them from the dehydrator and allow to cool on the drying racks. Then store in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place. Label the container with the date they went in.
Wash, dry and de-stalk the raspberries as outlined above.
Place them on a wire cooling rack on top of a baking tray. Leave some spaces between them so the air can circulate. If you don’t have enough cooling racks, spread the rest of your raspberries on a baking tray that has been lined with greaseproof paper – again, leaving room for air to circulate.
Turn your oven on to its lowest setting, which is usually between 50 degrees C (120 degrees F) and 75 degrees C (165 degrees F). Slide the raspberries in.
Check your raspberries after about five or six hours (sooner and more regularly if you wish). Examine the fruit to see how dry it is becoming and leave longer if necessary. The time required will vary according to the size and juiciness of the berries.
Once ready, allow to cool and then store in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark place.
Try rinsing your raspberries in a 50-50 solution of water and lemon juice in order to kill any bacteria that can live on the raspberries.