If you can buy mangoes by the box in peak season when they are at their cheapest, it is easy to dry them in a dehydrator to make sweet chewy snacks for the rest of the year.
Two different snacks can be made at the same time. Slices of the mango cheeks are dried for intensely flavoured nibbles, and the left overs are pureed, spread thinly and dried. The left overs include the juice from when you are slicing the mangoes for drying, any flesh left over from the slices, flesh cut from close to the seed, and any juice that you can squeeze from the flesh clinging to the stone.
Dried Mango and Mango Fruit Leather
Take your mangoes – it is good to use 1 dozen or more – and slice off the two cheeks close to the mango seed. Slice each cheek into 3 (2 if very small, 4 if very large) without cutting through the skin. Holding the cheek over a bowl to collect the juices, turn the cheek inside out so that the peel comes away from the flesh easily. Place the mango slices on your dehydrator trays. Any small pieces of fruit that come away from the slices can go into the bowl with the juices.
The mango shrinks on drying, so you don’t want the pieces too small. 2cm wide x 1-2cm thick x the length of mango cheek works well.
Once the mangoes are sliced and peeled in this way, the trays can be placed into the dehydrator. Times for dehydration will vary, depending on the temperature that your dehydrator reaches, the humidity, the size of the mango slices and their juiciness. Dry until slices are dry and no longer sticky, between 8 and 24 hours. Cut one open to ensure that it is dried inside as well.
You may want to remove the smaller slices as they dry, leaving the larger pieces to continue dehydrating.
Store in airtight jars or other containers.
To make the Fruit Leather
Puree the bowl of pieces of mango flesh and juice. Spread it thinly on your silicone or other mats that come with your dehydrator, and dehydrate until dry but still the tiniest bit sticky. It can be dried in your dehydrator at the same time as the mango slices.
Once it is dried, it can be gently cut into long slices with a scissors, and rolled. Store in airtight jars or other containers.