Cherries make a great jam and cake topping but did you know they also make a great little treat when they are dehydrated? It’s true, Much like the delicious raised, a cherry is a fun sweet little snack packed full of energy. Let’s get started learning how to dehydrate cherries, With 3 different methods.
How to Dehydrate Cherries in the dehydrater
Step 1: Washing your cherries
Like with any sort of fresh produce you would consume, You should first wash your cherries thoroughly in cold running water. You can use a pot or strainer but a colander will work best for this.
Wash for several minutes and pat dry on a clean towel or paper towel.
Step 2: Pitting your cherries
There are several methods to pit cherries. The quickest method is a cherry pitter which you can easily purchase on Amazon. This is great if you will be working with a lot amount of cherries.
If you don’t, there are other more manual methods you can use to pit your cherries.
Hands On Gourmet does a wonderful job of showing off an easy DIY cherry picker you make with a fork. Check out his video bellow:
Step 3: Putting your cherries in the dehydrator
Cherries are fairly small. Lucky for us that means they require almost no preparation before sticking them in the dehydrator aside from pitting them.
Simply place them on the dehydrator sheets with even spacing around each for adequate airflow. This should be about 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) of space in all directions.
If? Using a multi-stack dehydrator be sure to remember that the bottom tray will dry out faster than the trays above it. The one at the top will be the least dry. So you will need to shuffle the trays around once in a while.
Step 4: Dry the cherries out, dehydrator instructions
Many home dehydrators won’t be able to reach the required 165f that is the standard recommendation. If you are one of those people, don’t worry just set your dehydrator as high as possible and allow for some extra drying time. At 165f dry for 2-3 hours.
Once that time has elapsed, lower the heat to 135f and continue the drying process for 20 hours or until complete. The cherries should be completely dried out but still, feel like fruit leather. Try not to over dry, although it’s not the end of the world if you did.
Step 5: Letting the cherries cool
This is a vital step for all dehydrated fruit. You must let it cool to get an idea of how dry it actually is. This step only takes about 30 minutes and you do not have to take it out of the dehydrator.
You can just leave them on the trays to cool off without any issue. It also saves time if you find out they have been under dried and need to be put in a bit longer.
Pack them into airtight containers
Now that you are sure they are finished it’s time to pack them away. Any airtight container will do. I personally prefer glass, such as a mason jar.
How to dry Cherries in Oven
It’s not uncommon for people who want to try dehydrating cherries for the first time to not have a dehydrator. In which case I recommend picking one up here.
But if you aren’t interested in that, You can always use the oven. Here’s the method on How to Dehydrate Cherries.
Step 1: Wash the cherries
Just like with the dehydrator method we must wash our cherries under cold running water. This keeps out any bugs, debris, and refuse.
Step 2: Pit the cherries
This is also the same as the other method. Grab the shiny new cherry picker you bought on Amazon threw my link because your awesome as heck, and get pitting.
Oh, I see. You cheeped out. Well, that’s ok. Try the straw method instead. Hold the cherry and stab it with a straw, Plastic or metal will do. Of course, once you’ve checked to make sure that red juice flying everywhere isn’t thumb blood your good to go.
Step 3: Putting the cherries on the baking sheet
Just like in a dehydrator, your cherries should have enough room to breath. So make sure there is enough space between them so all that hot air is able to sweep that liquid away. That is after all the point of dehydration.
Set the oven to 150f. Interestingly enough, your oven may not have a low enough setting for this. That’s ok, Just put it as low as it can go and crack open the stove door a bit. Make sure it won’t accidentally close or you will end up cooking and burning your cherries.
They should remain in the oven for about 10 hours.
Step 4: Removing cherries and letting them cool
Remove the tray from the oven and allow sitting onto a wire rack for 30 minutes until cool.
Once cool, Your cherries should be nice and leathery, but still able to be snapped in half.
Check the snap break and see if theirs any moisture, Give it a squeeze for good measure.
Did you know you can also sun dry cherries? It’s really simple!
My favorite method is the one I’m going to talk about here because it’s also safe and quick.
All you need is a solar dehydrator. You can buy one on Amazon here or make it yourself with tinfoil, and a box. The box can either be made of wood or cardboard. It doesn’t really matter.
You also require a sunny forecast for the day since rain and cloud cover will ruin it.
Simply wash the cherries, pit the cherries, and slice them up. You can slice them in half or make thinner pieces. Personal preference. Just remember the thinner they are the faster they will dry. You might be fighting mother nature on timing.
Drying time will vary for sun-dried cherries, so I can’t really give a reference. Just check on them once in a while and hope it doesn’t rain.
I hope you enjoyed this short guide on how to Dehydrate Cherries.
How to reconstitute dehydrated cherries
Having gone through any of the previous methods and now you would like to rehydrate your cherries, Follow these simple instructions below:
1. Add 1 cup (0.24 l) of dried cherries to a pot with 1/2 cup (0.11 l) of water.
2. Bring the pot to a boil than turn it down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Allow cherries to cool.