Drying Fruits

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by isa, Aug 4, 2001.

  1. isa

    isa

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    I was looking at a bowl of cherry last night and wondered if I could dry them myself in the oven like tomatoes. Has anyone ever tried to dry fruits?

    Would appreciate thoughts and help on the subject


    Thanks!
     
  2. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Yes, I have dried many fruits, and purees as well. I don't think I've dried whole cherries, but the method is the same for most fruits: place in a very low oven(preferably on a non-stick surface)for about 1 1/2 to 3 hours. Some fruits need a dip in simple syrup before drying, but cherries should do just fine on their own. Please tell us how they turn out.
     
  3. isa

    isa

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    Thanks for the advice Momo. The lowest temperature setting for my oven is 150°F. I would take that to be about 175°F. Will that be acceptable? I haven’t used an electric stove for the longest time, I find it hard to adjust to it.

    Should I remove the pit? I hope you'll say no because I have no pitting gadget. Maybe I should just halve them once dry?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Whether you pit them or not is up to you. It depends on how you plan to use them. If you're going to use them for baking or cooking, pit them before you dry them. If you just want to eat them by themselves, you don't need to worry about the pit before or after.

    175 is good. If you find that it's taking too long, you can turn it up to 200. Any higher, and you run the risk of cooking them.
     
  5. isa

    isa

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    Thanks for the advice Momo . :)

    I have no idea what I'll use them for at this point. I'll see how they turn out and then see what I can do with it.
     
  6. shimmer

    shimmer

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    When I grew up, we had a dehydrator and dried fruits and made fruit leathers, etc. With cherries it may not matter, but with lighter colored fruits it sometimes helps to add some lemon juice to the simple syrup to limit discoloration.

    ~~Shimmer~~
     
  7. isa

    isa

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    Cheeries have been in the oven for about 60 minutes. I raised the temperature to 200°F.

    The 150°F setting is not really working, it's just there as part of the look. It's just like the 200 milles per hour on your car's speed dial. It's there but you'll never reach it.

    Thanks for the tip Shimmer. I did line the sheet pan with aluminium just in case. I may ask you for advice, if you don't mind, to make fruit leather, if I like the cherries.

    It would have been fine if I hadn't forgotten to remove the cherries before turning the oven to 500°F to bake the bread.

    [ August 05, 2001: Message edited by: Iza ]
     
  8. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Blackened cherries...mmmmm....

    Iza, did you burn them all??? :eek:

    I hope the 200 degree temp worked well for you. It's better to start too low than too high.

    I've made leather with many fruits before. Cherry is a good choice, while some others just don't work well at all. I add about 10% sugar to the puree, and cook it on the stove, letting it reduce to a coulis consistency, so that it's easy to spread on a pan. Silpat works well for this if you have it. Make sure that your pan is FLAT, and that you spread the puree uniformly across the pan, or you'll end up with crispy sections and gooey sections.
     
  9. katherine

    katherine

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    If it looks like drying cherries is something you'll be wanting to do, you might want to get a cherry pitter. I found a cheap one herehere. There are lots of models available.

    Also, I have a book on drying food which suggests that the lower the temperature, the better the end product. They suggest using a heat source like a heating pad to raise the temperature of your drying chamber a little bit. Just set it at the bottom of the oven and turn it on "high". It may take several days to dry the cherries, so hang something on the oven knob to remind you not to turn it on.
     
  10. isa

    isa

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    Burned might be a strong word in this case Momoreg. Let's just say they are very, and I mean very, dried. They smell great though, unfornunatly they don't taste very good.

    I'm having trouble with my electric stove. It cooks/bakes everything a lot faster then the gas stove did. I know the temperature is higher then it should so I've adjusted it accordingly, -25°F, and I still find it bakes faster.

    I will try again. Will pitted them first and cut them in half. It should cut down the drying time. I'll try the fruit leather. From your recipe it sounds like it's an easy thing to do. Does it keep for a long time Momoreg?

    Thanks for the idea Katherine. I will make myself a oven door sign. This way I'll never forget if something is in. Is the heat of the heating pad really enough to dry the cherries? Have you tried it yourself?
     
  11. momoreg

    momoreg

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    The leather is easy to make, and it keeps for a long time, if you wrap it well. (oiled plastic wrap will work)...
     
  12. jill reichow

    jill reichow

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    Iza, I have a dehydrator and have been drying fruits for years for my kids. Also make yoghurt roll ups which have always been a big hit. One of the favorites in our house is homemade raisins. I use green seedless grapes, blanch them in boiling water for about a minute to craze the coating on the skin, then dry. They are so much tastier than dried out store bought ones. I also do apple slices in the fall. Core and peel apples, cut into rings, dip in fruit fresh to keep them from browning, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and dry. They are great for pies and such if you ever get that far. Mostly my family gobbles them up or we throw them in cooked cereal...mmmm now I can't wait til fall!
     
  13. isa

    isa

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    Thanks for the tip Luv2bake I wouldn't have thought of drying grapes. Now I could only understand my stove.

    Momo I can't wait to try to make fruit leather, they are so expensive in stores and not as good as the home made kind I am sure.