Dried cherries are tasty, portable and healthy snack on their own. They can also be used in baked goods, as a salad topping and in compotes. Here is your step by step guide to dry them:
- Wash the cherries and let them drain in a colander for a few minutes. Remove and discard the stems. z Cut the pitted cherries in half. Place them cut side up on baking sheets. Be sure that none of the cherry halves are touching; you want air to be able to circulate around each piece of fruit.
- Place the sheets of cherries in a 150 F or 65 C oven. If your oven does not go this low, prop the door open with the handle of a wooden spoon. The cherries should be dry in about 10 hours.
- You won't be completely sure if the cherries are fully dehydrated until they have cooled. Turn off the oven and open it. Let the cherries cool on the trays for 20 to 30 minutes.
- After the cooling-off period, break one of the cherries in half. There should be no visible moisture along the surface of the break.
- Put the dried, cooled cherries into glass jars, only fi lling the jars about 2/3 full. Cover the jars. Shake the jars a couple of times a day for one week. This redistributes the cherries as well as any moisture they may still contain. If any condensation shows up on the sides of the jars, your fruit isn't dried well enough yet and it needs to go back into the oven for a few hours.