Each day I look at my stats to see which of my blog posts are looked at the most so I can make sure that I am sharing tips, and recipes, that interest my readers. And every single day I am surprised that my Cooking 101 posts are viewed more than any of the recipes. The number one Cooking 101 post that is viewed is “how to ripen a banana in the microwave”. I guess often times it is the simplest hacks that people are interested in learning about. I decided with that being the case I would bring one of the absolute easiest cooking tips to you that I have. It isn’t a hack like the banana, but it is something that a lot of people inquire about.
If you are like me, you don’t own a dehydrator. Everything that I dry I use the oven for. Once I plant my garden next spring I think that a dehydrator may be in my future, but for now my oven is the kitchen tool that I use instead. I decided to dry cherries over the weekend. A while ago I bought a giant bag of sweet dark cherries from Costco and wasn’t overly thrilled with them. After several months I decided that I needed to do something with them before they freezer burn. I had a recipe in mind that needed dried cherries, so that was the direction that I decided to go with.
I chose to start with a small batch just to see if it was even worth my time. They were perfect as soon as they came out of the oven, but as they sat they started to harden, and they got crunchy. That wasn’t really the texture I was looking for, especially since I was going to be using them in a dessert. The next day I knew that it was all or nothing. I used the rest of the bag and kept a close eye on them. I put them in the oven for 3 hours, briefly had to remove them for 30 minutes to pop in dinner, then I threw them back in for another 2 hours. After that I turned off the oven and just allowed them to sit in the oven over night. They are perfect for using within 3-5 days, but they would need to be dried about another 60-90 minutes for a longer shelf life.
What is your favorite dried fruit?
Do you use dried fruit very often?
Oven Dried Sweet Cherries
By Angie Gouchenour
- Thaw the frozen cherries
- Squeeze out as much juice as you can without turning the cherries into mush
- Pre heat the oven to 350’f (This temperature helps to dry up some of the juice)
- Place the cherries on a foil lined cookie sheet
- After placing the cherry filled cookie sheet in the oven turn the temperature down to 180’f
- Allow to dry 5-7 hours until they have reached desired dryness
- Remove when cooled and store in a sealed container; the length of shelf life will be determined by how dry you choose to make the cherries