You should be picking up fruits that firm, blemish free and ripe, but not overly so (which means using fruit dehydration for the forgotten contents of your fruit bowl is not going to prove successfully!)
Wash all fruits thoroughly, particularly if the fruit you are going to use will be eaten with its skin, to remove any dirt and lingering pesticides. If necessary, pit and slice the fruit into equal-sized pieces. For larger berries or cherries, for example, you’ll want to cut them in half. Apples and Pears should be cored and then sliced into ½ inch thick slices. The key here is that all of the pieces are of similar size so that they dry at an equal rate.
Blanch the fruits like apples, pears and apricots by putting slices in a steamer for five minutes then transferring them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
To dry fruit in the oven, line the racks with cheesecloth and place fruit slices on top. The oven should be set at its lowest setting, reaching a temperature of no higher than 60 degrees, and the door should be left slightly open to allow any steam to escape (again, experts recommend positioning a fan close by to keep air circulating).
Although drying times vary based on the type of fruit, how it is prepared, and how you dry it, there are a few simple tricks you can use to test when it is done. A good way to test whether the fruit is “cooked” is to first touch it – it should feel dry but not brittle, almost taking on a leathery yet pliable texture. Then, tear a piece apart and look along the tear. If there are moisture beads, you’ll need a little more time.