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There are basically three different methods used to dry persimmons, and each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can dry persimmons by using a food dehydrator, a home oven, or by air drying. It's best to start with fruit that is ripe, then cleaned and cut. Dried persimmons can make an excellent snack, and can easily be added to recipes for cakes and cookies. You can purchase them at some groceries, but drying persimmons on your own is not difficult, and in most cases, home-dried persimmons are of a superior quality to those that are mass-produced.
To dry persimmons, choosing fruit at the proper stage of ripeness is the first step, and probably the most important. Fruit that is overripe may begin to rot before the dehydration process completes, and this is especially true with air-drying. Under ripened fruit is not recommended because the dried fruit will not be as sweet, and may even have a bitter under taste. Persimmons that are ripe for drying are typically dark orange in color and soft, but not mushy, to the touch.
Drying persimmons with a food dehydrator is probably the simplest method, however food dehydrators can be expensive and most that are made for home use have a limited amount of space. You may have to go through the process several times if you have a large amount of persimmons to dry. Before you dry persimmons in a dehydrator, you should first wash and cut the fruit. The dehydrator is typically set at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), and the persimmons usually need to cook for about 24 hours for complete drying.
To oven dry persimmons, you should roughly follow the same process that you use with a dehydrator. The advantage that oven drying has over a dehydrator is that using a home oven will allow you to dry much more fruit at one time. Though oven drying has the advantage of being a time saver, this may be out-weighted by the cost. Running an oven for a 24-hour period will use a lot more electricity than a dehydrator, thus making the process much more expensive.
If you have the time, air-drying persimmons is probably the best method overall. In most cases, because of the time involved in the drying process, the resulting fruit is typically much sweeter and has a bolder flavor. Generally, the most common method of air-drying persimmons is to hang the fruit from a wood rod. The fruit is attached to the rod by wrapping with cotton string. You can hang the rod most anywhere that is convenient, and the drying process takes about 30 days, depending on the humidity of the environment.
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