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Applesauce and More Cherries

July 24, 2008

We’ve been on a dehydrating kick here since I got my new dehydrator the week before last. I’ve been drying a lot of cherries, because they are so expensive to buy. Sure, they don’t taste like fresh cherries afterwards, but no dried fruit ever does and they are still tasty. They are good for baking, sprinkling in hot cereal, adding to trail mix or eating plain or with some crispy nuts (which I can now also make with ease).

Don’t these cherries look like pretty jewels?

Cherries shrink considerably when they dry and it also appears that little hand have stolen a few while they were drying. So far I have 1 1 /2 quarts dried, but I have another full batch in the dryer right now, so I anticipate ending up with a 1/2 gallon or more.

We had the chance to pick even more cherries on Monday, so who’s going to turn down the offer of free delicious, organic fruit?

I decided to dry all the Bing cherries and to freeze the lighter ones; I don’t know if they are Royal Anne or Ranier cherries.

Most everything I read suggested freezing them in a sugar solution, but I didn’t want added sugar, so I froze a tray without and they seemed fine. I’m don’t know if they will eventually suffer some damage from being frozen without a sugary solution, but I’m going to take my chances and freeze all of them plain.

I don’t have a pitter and Angelina’s is broken, so I couldn’t borrow it, but I have two able helpers who have begrudgingly helped me pit them.*

One other thing that I have been using the drying for, while drying the cherries, is to make apple fruit leather from applesauce that I preserved last fall. We hadn’t gone through it as fast as I anticipated, so I had a lot left and when I opened my dehydrator box and saw a fruit leather tray included a light bulb clicked and they have been a huge hit. I’m rationing them out though, because now we are going through applesauce like crazy making these and I probably won’t be able to get good priced apples to make more until September.

It takes a little more than 1/2 quart of applesauce to fill the tray.

Several hours later, voila, apple fruit leather from organic applesauce.

*A strange coincidence when I was shopping online today. I went to Lehman’s to look for a clothesline wire for my new outdoor clothesline and on the front page, they had only two items advertised, taking up a full page: cherry pitters and clotheslines. Weird. Like they had been listening to me all morning and tailored their homepage to me. I hadn’t even searched for cherry pitters at all on my computer, so it’s not like it harvested information from my previous web searches.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Angela (Cottage Magpie) permalink
    July 24, 2008 4:42 pm

    Those look delicious! We froze all of ours in bags and they seem to be fine (we did a test run before we committed all 35 lbs to the deep freeze). And…I wish I had known you were looking for a pitter! We have two! They’re handheld ones, but they do the job. Next time, give me a call! 🙂
    ~Angela

  2. Angela (Cottage Magpie) permalink
    July 24, 2008 4:42 pm

    Those look delicious! We froze all of ours in bags and they seem to be fine (we did a test run before we committed all 35 lbs to the deep freeze). And…I wish I had known you were looking for a pitter! We have two! They’re handheld ones, but they do the job. Next time, give me a call! 🙂
    ~Angela

  3. Angelina permalink
    July 24, 2008 6:22 pm

    I’m so envious of the cherries!

    I’ve got to do the fruit leather trick too.

  4. Angelina permalink
    July 24, 2008 6:22 pm

    I’m so envious of the cherries!

    I’ve got to do the fruit leather trick too.

  5. Lisa permalink
    July 25, 2008 10:47 pm

    Angela-Thanks so much for letting me borrow the cherry pitters!

    Mom-You’ll have to try some next time you get out this way.

    Angelina-You should totally try the fruit leather. Is that something Max would eat?

  6. Angelina permalink
    July 26, 2008 3:33 pm

    I don’t know. He likes the commercial kind so I have to experiment this summer. I need a source for concord grapes. I want to do an apple/grape combination. Later I could try an apple/strawberry combo too.

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