How to Dry Cherries
Learning how to dry cherries at home is an important activity if you want to have an ample supply of nutritious cherries the whole year round. A lot has already been written about the nutritive value of cherries but the relative shortness of the cherry harvest season almost always precludes it from being a staple fruit consumed fresh the whole year. To get around this obstacle, learning how to dry cherries has been a favorite task by many cherry lovers and if you plan to savor the nourishing effects of cherries, then you should check out these tips on how to dry cherries.
Here, we present a simply series of steps on how to dry cherries. There are a variety of options available including sun-drying or oven drying and both produce excellent dried cherries that can be stored to last for a year. In these steps, we outline how you can use an oven to produce sumptuous and nourishing cherries for any occasion.
1. Start by carefully selecting the correct cherries from a batch. You are looking for ripe cherries that have not started to rot yet. You will also want to avoid cherries that have cuts and bruises as these can compromise the quality of the cherry and further damage it during drying. Instead, find perfectly ripened cherries for drying.
2. Physically prepare the cherries for loading into the oven. This means washing the cherries, cutting the stems and splitting the fruit in half to take away the pits. If you plan to do this on a regular basis, a $5 cherry pitter is definitely not a bad investment.
3. Once all the cherries have been cleaned, you can now place them on baking trays. Arrange them in such a way that the cut sides are facing upwards and the sides of the fruit are touching the tray.
4. Prepare the oven by pre-heating it to 165 degrees Centigrade. Pop the cherry trays into the oven and begin the drying process by letting the cherries bake at that temperature for 3 hours. Afterwards, turn the heat down to 15 degrees and continue the drying process for another 20 hours.
5. Alternatively, you can sun dry the cherries if the weather is hot enough to permit it. To do this, simply lay the cherries out in the sun for several days until you get a sticky, malleable but firm consistency. During this period, you will need to regularly check on the trays for insects and putting cheesecloth over them would not be a bad idea. Once the cherries are ready, you can take them in and finish the process with a quick oven dry at 160 degrees for one hour to kill any surviving contaminants.
Dried cherries are perfect when consumed as is or added to fruit shakes, pre-mixed with spreads, added to desserts or even passed through the food processor or blender for mixing into your refreshments. There are near unlimited options with dried cherries that anyone in the family will enjoy.
Given how relatively easy it is to learn how to dry cherries, you can now enjoy the benefits of nutritious and tasty cherry servings regardless of the time of year. Take note that you can also be more confident with your own dried cherry products than if you were to buy marked up dried cherries from the supermarket. By learning to process your own food, you know exactly what goes into these foods so you can be confident that these are healthy, clean and not mixed with unwanted chemicals. This is in fact, perhaps the ultimate benefit of learning how to dry cherries.