Drying cherries is a great way to preserve their flavor and enjoy them for months or even years.
You can use several methods, depending on the amount of time and equipment you have. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the best ways to dry cherries to retain their flavor and color.
How to Dry Cherries in a Dehydrator
Cherries are a delicious and healthy fruit, but they can be quite expensive. If you want to enjoy them year-round, you’ll need to learn how to dry cherries.
A food dehydrator is a small kitchen appliance that consists of thin, top and bottom trays made from either wire mesh or solid material with air circulation on the bottom. The food is placed in the trays or on sheets inserted into the machine, and heat generated by an electric heater dries it out.
To dry cherries in a dehydrator, start by washing them and removing the stems. Then, cut the cherries into thin slices and place them on the dehydrator trays.
Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees F, and dry the cherries for six to eight hours. Check them periodically to ensure that they are not burning.
Once the cherries are dried, store them in an airtight container. They will keep for 6 months to a year.
How to Dry Cherries in the Oven
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry cherries in the oven. Drying food in an oven is usually faster than using a dehydrator, but it requires more attention to prevent the item from drying too quickly or burning.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cherries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for two hours, or until they are dried out.
Be sure to keep an eye on them to not overcook and become burnt.
Once the cherries are dried, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.
If you want to keep them longer, you can add an oxygen absorber to the jar, or use a vacuum sealer with the Mason jar attachment to get an airtight seal. They’ll keep for years this way!
How Do You Make Sun-Dried Cherries?
The process of making sun-dried cherries is quite simple. First, you need to start with ripe cherries – the riper they are, the better.
Next, wash and pit the cherries.
Once that’s done, slice the cherries in half and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Make sure the cherries aren’t too close together on the baking sheet as this will inhibit them from drying properly.
Then, place the baking sheet in a sunny spot and let the sun do its job! Depending on how hot it is outside, it should take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours for the cherries to dry completely.
Once they’re done, store them in an airtight container and enjoy them whenever you want!
Aside from being easy, there are benefits to using the sun to dry fruits like cherries.
For one, it’s a great way to preserve their nutritional value. Additionally, sun-drying foods helps intensify their flavor.
If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to enjoy cherries year-round, be sure to give this method a try!
Delicious and Creative Ways to Use Dried Cherries
Here are some creative ways to use dried cherries in your cooking:
- Add them to trail mix or granola for a sweet and nutritious snack.
- Use them in place of raisins in recipes for cookies, cakes, and breads.
- Make a cherry compote by simmering them in water or juice until they are plump and soft. Serve this compote over ice cream, pancakes, or waffles.
- Add them to savory dishes like pork roast or wild rice pilaf for a touch of sweetness.
- Chop them up and use them as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal.
- Make a cherry pie, crisp, or cobbler using dried cherries in the filling. Just rehydrate by soaking the cherries in water first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you dry cherries in the microwave?
Yes, you can dry cherries in the microwave. However, it is essential to note that this method is not as effective as air-drying or using a food dehydrator.
If you choose to use the microwave to dry your cherries, make sure to spread them out on a paper towel and microwave them for no more than two minutes. Check them often to make sure they are not burning.
But really, I don’t recommend it.
How long do cherries take to dry?
It depends on the method you are using to dry them. If you are using a dehydrator, it will take six to eight hours. If you are drying them in the oven, it will take approximately two hours. If you are sun-drying them, it can take up to 2 days.
How do you pit cherries?
There are a few different ways to pit cherries. One way is to use a cherry pitter—a small tool that looks like a plunger with spikes on it. Another way is to use a straw. Cut the straw in half and insert it into the cherry until the pit pops out. You can also just use your fingers to push the pit out of the cherry.
How do you make cherry raisins?
To make cherry raisins, you need to start with dried cherries. Place the cherries in a bowl and add enough boiling water to cover them. Let them sit for about five minutes, then drain the water and allow the cherries to cool.
Once they are cool, roll them in granulated sugar and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours or until they are dried out and plump. Allow them to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
As you can see, there are several different ways to dry cherries. Which method you choose will depend on your preferences and what appliances you have available. I personally prefer preserving my cherries using a dehydrator.
That said, I’ve also dried cherries in the sun using a solar oven, and the flavor couldn’t be beat. Enjoy!
I’m a foodie that’s slightly obsessed with drying fruits, veggies, beans, and more – especially from my own garden! It started as a hobby but became a “must” when my family fell on hard times, and my dried food stash sustained us. Now I’m always experimenting with different techniques and recipes and sharing them here!