Monday, July 13, 2009

it's that time of year again

Time to get out my food dehydrator.
I've had it for over 10 years.
I've used it every summer.
Cherries were on sale at my local grocery store for $0.99/lb.
Cherries are my 2nd favorite dried fruit to eat.
Apricots are my favorite.

I dry fruit for myself mostly.
It's the best snack throughout the year.
Mr. E isn't a big fan. Big E likes the fruit leather.
I love the cherries, the apricots, the apples, the peaches,
the strawberries... anything.

Lets get started, shall we?

step one: rinse the cherries.
drying cherries 1

step two: remove stems and pits.
Warning, this is a very messy part and cherries stain, wear an apron.
Be prepared to have splatters Everywhere! (the counter, the floor, your neck...Seriously, I looked in the mirror later this day and saw red splatters on my neck.)
I use a hand held pitter. It is a pain.
It is so much easier to use one of these contraptions but I haven't bought one yet.
drying cherries 2

step three: lay evenly on dehydrator tray.
drying cherries 3

step four: fill all trays, and turn on dehydrator. Cherries can take up to 36 hours to dry to my liking!
drying cherries 4

step five: notice the shrinkage?
drying cherries 5

step six: compare shriveled up dried cherry to fresh cherry, and eat (both if you like!)
drying cherries 6

I prefer my cherries dried whole, but you can cut them in half to dry as well and that will actually speed up the drying time. I did a few cut in half to compare and tasted them. The cut in half ones were good but I still prefer them whole. If you don't want to use the pitter then cutting them will be less messy and could save you time.
I also dry my cherries pretty hard. I do not like any bit of softness left to them. I don't like the texture of them if they are still like raisins. But that is just me.

Here's the final product all bagged up. I only bought 10 pounds of cherries and ate about 1/2 pound fresh so 9.5lb of fresh cherries only makes 2.5 sandwich bags full of dried cherries, kind of sad.
drying cherries

Here is the fruit leather before drying spread out on the tray. When it is dry I just peal it off carefully and roll it up with plastic wrap.
To make this I just add cherries to the blender and a cup or so of natural applesauce (just apples and water) no sugar or other ingredients.
dried cherry fruit leather


  1. If Kes lived at your house he would think he had died and gone to heaven! He absolutely loves dried fruit and it is so expensive at the store!

  2. plus the dried fruit at the store is soft and gooey. Much better deal to dry your own.

  3. mmmmmm :) I have been too overwhelmed this summer to dry anything :( sad!

  4. those cherries look so gorgeous laid out so nicely on the trays

  5. I really want to get a food dehydrator!! I love fresh and dried cherries, but can't eat bottled cherries! My kids also love dried fruit. Guess the dehydrator is moving up on my wish list:)

  6. Two months ago I would have KILLED for that cherry pitter! I looked everywhere around town. Do you remember where you bought yours? Cherries are so pretty.

  7. I got it at Bed bath and beyond I believe, a few years ago. It was hanging on the big wall of kitchen utensils. Good luck finding one!