Steam blanching is one of the possible treatment methods for a handful of fruits before drying.
Treating many fruits in some way before drying can result in a higher quality product with better colours and storage life.
For all various treatment options for all fruit, see: Fruit drying pre-treatments
See also: Blanching times for drying vegetables
Blanching times for drying fruit
This table is just meant as a handy summary for quick time reference. Sources used are from 2012 onwards.
For actual full detailed drying directions, please see a reputable source such as one of the books mentioned below and refer to the item in question that you are drying (or search Healthy Canning to see if we have published a page working through the recommended steps for that particular fruit yet.)
Where treatment recommendations differ, we present the differing recommendations for you to decide.
BBB: Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Fruit drying directions on pages 164 to 165.
BAN: Butcher, Meredith L., Ed. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Fruit drying tables on pages 336 to 337.
PIN: Excalibur. Preserve It Naturally. Sacramento, California. 4th edition, 2012. Fruit drying preparation table on page 25.
SETP: So Easy to Preserve. Elizabeth L. Andress and Judy A. Harrison. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Bulletin 989. Sixth Edition. 2014. Fruit drying preparation directions on pages 267 to 276.
- All procedures assume thorough washing first and stemming, etc. first;
- Steam blanching times start as soon as the lid is replaced on the pot of boiling water.
- Blanching times must be adjusted for altitude.
So Easy To Preserve gives these directions:
Place fruit not more than 5 cm [2 inches] deep, in a steamer pan or wire basket over boiling water. Cover tightly with lid and begin timing immediately…. Check for even blanching, halfway through the blanching time. Some fruit may need to be stirred. When done, remove excess moisture using paper towels and place on dryer trays.”2
Blanching times table for drying fruit
|Apples||10||3 to 5||SETP, PIN||"Depends on texture"|
|Apricots||10||3 to 4||SETP||PIN says 2 to 4 mins|
|Bananas||10||3 to 4||SETP|
|Blueberries||BBB, SETP, PIN||Check for 30 to 60 seconds in boiling water|
|Cherries (sour)||10||SETP||Stem, wash, pit. If pitted and cut, no treatment necessary. If not syrup blanching whole pitted ones, then check briefly in boiling water. EXCAL leaves out steam option.|
|Cranberries||BBB, SETP, PIN||Check for 30 to 60 seconds in boiling water|
|Grapes||BBB, SETP, PIN||Check for 30 to 60 seconds in boiling water|
|Nectarines and Peaches||10||8||SETP||Wash. Peel if desired. Core. Leave whole, or cut into halves, slices or quarters.|
|Pears||10||6||SETP||Wash. Best if peeled. Core. Cut into halves, slices or quarters.|
|Rhubarb||1 to 2, until tender||PIN|
Ball in most places gives a dip in a solution of their Fruit Fresh powder product as the preferred pretreatment for fruits.
Bananas: PIN leaves out steam option.
Cherries: PIN leaves out steam option.
Nectarines and peaches: PIN leaves out steam option.
Pears: PIN leaves out steam option.