In my previous post, I showed you how to perfectly cut your mango slices. Now you're ready to begin prepping them for drying. All you need is a decent thermometer and a dehydrator. This is the one I've used for over 5 years and it's never let me down! If you're buying one from amazon, please consider using my link above or at the bottom of the post. I'll get a tiny kickback for sending you to them, even if you purchase a different product than I linked to. I would greatly appreciate the click.
For simple dried mango slices, spritz with lemon or orange
juice (to prevent oxidization which turns the fruit brown) and place in
a dehydrator at 130 degrees F anywhere from 6-16 hours depending on the
thickness of your slices and relative humidity.
If, at this point you'd like
to add a bit of sweetness to your mangoes make a simply syrup in a large
pan by combining 6 parts warm water to 1 part granulated sugar (I used 6
cups of water and 1 cup of sugar).
your mango slices in the sugar water and slowly bring to 190-200
degrees F on medium/medium-low heat. DO NOT BOIL the water. As soon as
it reaches temperature, remove the pan from the heat and cover it.
Allow the mangoes to soak overnight, or at least 6 or 8 hours in the
Remove the mangoes from the liquid and allow to dry for a few minutes in a colander. You can save the liquid, which will have quite a bit of mango pulp in it to use for fruit leathers. Layer your mangoes evenly on dehydrator rack, making sure they don't overlap. They can be nearly touching, because they will almost immediately shrink allowing good air flow around all pieces.
Follow the instructions of your dehydrator, but depending on the thickness, quantity, relative humidity, and effectiveness of your dehydrator, it could take anywhere from 6-16 hours at 130 degrees. If you'd like, you can set the temperature 10-15 degrees higher for the first hour because the rapid evaporation of water will keep the fruit 10-15 degrees below ambient temperature at first. Be careful though, because if you forget to turn it down, you'll end up with pieces that are overly dry on the outside but are still too moist in the center.
Whatever you choose to do, begin checking them before you expect them to be done. I expected mine to be ready after about 8-10 hours, but after about 6 hours, I checked mine, and they were done. Some of the smaller pieces may be a bit hard or crispy and even the thin edges of the larger pieces will be a bit over dry. The centers should still have a bit of moisture. They'll feel a bit like sticky leather; soft and pliable.
At this point, place all the mangoes in a plastic bag for 12-24 hours. This allows the moisture to re-distribute between the pieces and those once crispy pieces will soften and the centers of your thicker slices will dry out a bit more. After this you can transfer them to your preferred storage container (glass works best), or you can candy them. This time around I sprinkled powdered sugar right in the plastic bag and shook them around until all the pieces were thoroughly coated. I've also had success with granulated sugar or raw sugar. Whatever you choose will be determined by your personal preferences.
Again, once the pieces are coated, they'll store best in an air-tight glass jar. For long term storage, you can keep them in the fridge about six months or freezer 9 months to a year.
I hope this satisfies your sweet tooth, and enjoy!