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Drying figs (Ficus carica) is easy provided certain conditions are met. Read here what needs to be considered when drying the fruit!

Whoever dries the common fig (Ficus carica) can benefit from two advantages: Firstly, the drying process gives the fruit a much longer shelf life. Because dried figs can be kept for more than a year. On the other hand, the dried fruits are extremely healthy, because the vitamin density increases significantly during the drying process. In order to benefit from these factors, however, the popular fruit must be dried under certain conditions.

drying figs

Which figs can be dried?

Ideally, only fully ripe dried fruits. On the one hand, this is because the fruits have developed their full aroma at this point. On the other hand, however, their water content plays an important role. This decreases after flowering, which means that the fruits dry faster. The figs are harvested in August and September. During this time, the hobby gardener can look out for specimens that have the following properties:

  • Fruits are very soft
  • yield even under slight pressure
  • sometimes juice will come out
  • this has a tough consistency

methods

How are figs dried?

The simplest method of drying figs is most likely a dehydrator. The device also has the decisive advantage that the temperature can be regulated in a targeted manner. To dry the fruit in the dehydrator, they are dried at around 50 degrees for about 10 hours. However, if you don't have a dehydrator, you don't have to do without the dried treats! Because you can also dry the Ficus carica in the oven and in the fresh air.

preparation

There are different methods for drying figs. Regardless of the drying variant you choose, you must first prepare the fruit accordingly.

  • Wash fruit thoroughly
  • then dab well
  • Cut away pressure points
  • ideally halve fruit
  • Cut in half from stem to tip

notice: Some drying methods allow the fruit to be dried whole. However, drying takes longer accordingly.

Drying figs: instructions

Drying in the oven

Drying in the oven is a little more time-consuming, but just as effective. It is important that the oven allows low temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees. In order to dry the figs as gently as possible, the temperature should not rise above 65 degrees. In order for the fruits to dry evenly, they should preferably be placed on a grid. In a baking tray, they would not be sufficiently aerated. The best way to dry the fruit in the oven is as follows:

  • Spread fig pieces on grid
  • sufficient distance from each other
  • 1 cm is usually sufficient
  • Turn fruit every 2-3 hours
  • Leave the oven door slightly ajar for 30 minutes
  • this keeps the temperature constant

drying in the sun

Drying in the fresh air is much more energy-saving and cost-effective. Although this method takes much longer, it is special Naturally and gently. Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider when it comes to air drying: On the one hand, drying depends on the weather, because it should be as dry and warm as possible. On the other hand, the fruits can attract insects, which like to nibble on them. In addition to a grid, cheesecloth is therefore recommended for air drying. This is because they protect the fruit from unwanted insects. Furthermore, when drying in the sun, the following must be observed:

  • prepare fruits
  • Spread cheesecloth on wire mesh
  • Lay out the fruit cut side up
  • sufficient distance from each other
  • Cover fruit with cheesecloth
  • Place the grid in a sunny spot for 2-3 days
  • Turn the fruit several times
  • preferably every morning

tip: The fruit can also be dried in the sun by simply threading it onto wooden skewers and then hanging it up. Twigs or a clothesline, for example, can be used for this.

Drying in the microwave

A particularly quick option is drying in the microwave. However, this has a number of disadvantages: the fruits are not really dried, but first cooked and then dried. As a result, they dry much faster due to the high temperatures, but at the expense of the vitamin content. Because of the high temperatures, a considerable amount of vitamins is lost. If you still want to dry the fruit in this way, you should definitely do it first to cut. Otherwise the fruit could burst. You should also note the following:

  • Spread the fig pieces out on a plate
  • for 2 minutes at maximum power
  • Then let the microwave air out
  • then 20 minutes at the lowest power
  • Check fruits every 2-5 minutes

notice: The ventilation of the microwave oven is so important because a lot of liquid escapes during "drying".

Identify dried figs

Of course, how long the drying actually takes depends on your own preferences. Because both the consistency and the taste change in the course of drying. In general, however, it can be said that dried fruit can be recognized by the following characteristics:

  • Fruits are leathery
  • no liquid can be seen on the surface
  • Fig pieces are no longer soft
  • but not too hard either

storage

The drying process itself is no guarantee that they will last for a long time. Because the subsequent storage of the fruit is just as important. These should first be placed in an airtight container. Afterwards, storage in a dark, cool place is recommended. A pantry is ideal for this, but storage in the refrigerator is also possible. Under these circumstances, the shelf life of the fruit is extended to up to a year. Nevertheless, they should be checked from time to time. However, if the following abnormalities occur, you should dispose of the fruit:

  • condensed water in the container
  • discoloration of the fruit
  • unpleasant smell

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