Summer is the season of fresh fruit, from pears and apples all the way through to the humble mandarin, but what can we do with the excess? How about adding a festive twist your Christmas cocktails by building yourself a collection of preserved fruit.
You can slice your ripe lemons, limes and mandarins thinly, brush them with a little lemon juice and throw them in either a dehydrator for 6 hours at 70 C / 160 F or in an oven at 70 C / 160 F for around 5hrs. Once they are dried keep them in a sealed dry jar and use them as garnishes on your favourite cocktails.
You can also add salt and sugar to your lemons to preserve them for a nice sweet and savoury snack to go alongside cheese boards, add a savoury note to drinks or even push acidity in a fresh tom yum soup. Simply add salt covered lemon slices and skins to a jar until full and fill with a light sugar syrup (20% sugar to water ratio).
If you have fresh pears or apples, treat them like the citrus and brush them with some lemon juice, or if you would like them sweet, brush them with a really light sugar water. Once you have done that add them to either the dehydrator or an oven at 70 C / 160 F for between 5-7hrs. Once dried, these can be stored in airtight dry jars for months.