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How to Dehydrate Cherries

Are you ready to learn how to dehydrate cherries?

Did you know, dehydrating cherries when they're in season is a good idea. Why? Because they are a pretty expensive fruit to buy - so when they're in season they are cheaper, of course. That's the time to get busy dehydrating this nutritional fruit!

Bear in mind you can also dehydrate frozen cherries too.

Cherries served in a variety of ways

I remember as a kid eating mom's glacé cherries (which are also known as candied cherries), trust kids to want to only eat fruit with sugar on or in it, sigh. I used to go to the fridge and sneak a few from the container... I wonder if she ever noticed? :-)

UPDATE: Yes, she did.

Cherries are a versatile fruit - great for making cherry cobblers, pies, and toppings, and are used in fruit cocktails (the fresh cherries are used for cocktails!)

Don't miss my note about how to sweeten sour cherries... please scroll down to our tip (below the "how to" instructions).

Don't forget to check out all our fruits here!

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. The top question: Can you dehydrate cherries?
A. Yes, see how further down this page. Also, check out how to make Candied Cherries!

Q. What to do with dehydrated cherries?
A. Here are some ideas for how to use dehydrated cherries:

  • Baking - Add cherries to muffins, scones, breads, oatmeal cookies, bars, or pancakes for a burst of sweetness. They'll plump back up during baking.
  • Trail Mix - Toss dried cherries into homemade trail mixes along with nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, cereals, pretzels, etc. For an on-the-go snack.
  • Salads - Rehydrate cherries in water for 10-30 minutes then mix into fresh spinach salads, kale salads, or grain bowls to lend a touch of tartness.
  • Yogurt and Oatmeal - Stir rehydrated chopped cherries into Greek yogurt or overnight oats. They make the perfect topping alongside granola.
  • Stuffed French Toast - Stuff sliced challah or brioche bread with a blend of cream cheese and rehydrated dried cherries before dipping in eggs and frying up french toast.
  • Meat Dishes - Mix dried cherries into the stuffing for pork chops, chicken, or turkey for a fruit-based flavor contrast.

Rehydrate first for the best texture when using dried cherries in your recipe!

Cherries Nutrition Info.

VITAMINS: Sour red cherries are packed with Vitamin A but are no match for sweet red cherries in the Vitamin A department!

Sour cherries also have more Vitamin C and Folate.

MINERALS: In the mineral department, both types of cherries are pretty evenly matched. They have a great amount of Potassium, followed by a good amount of Phosphorus, Calcium, and Magnesium, and have trace amounts of Iron, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese.

Both types of cherries contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

How to Dehydrate Cherries

If using from frozen, ignore step 1.

  1. Wash them and remove the stems and pits. *See NOTE at bottom.
  2. Cut them in half and place them on your food dehydrator trays with the cut side up to prevent drips on the lower trays!
  3. Turn on your dehydrator and set the temperature between 125°F and 135°F (or per your food dehydrator's instructions).
  • Drying time: between 18-26 hours and they will feel sticky and leathery when dried.
  • Make sure you don't over-dry them!
  • Remember to rotate your food dehydrator trays, for even drying.

*NOTE: When dehydrating the sour variety, you may wish to boil them first (for about ten minutes) in a syrup (info directly below) to sweeten them up.

Sweeten them: Use a mixture of one cup each of sugar and light corn syrup, to two cups of water, per pound of cherries. Let them air dry before finally dehydrating them.

What Are Glacé Cherries?

Glacé Cherries on top of a plastic sheet, at a local market

Glacé cherries are a type of preserved cherry that have been soaked in sugar syrup and then coated with a sugar glaze.

These are the type of cherries that are often used as a decoration on cakes and pies.

Similar... But NOT Exactly the Same!

Glacé cherries and candied cherries are very similar, but they are not exactly the same product. The main differences are:

  1. Base Ingredients - Glacé cherries use preserved or marinated fruit, whereas candied cherries typically start with fresh cherries.
  2. Cooking Process - Candied cherries are boiled in sugar syrup to infuse flavor and crystallize sugar on the fruit. Glacé cherries are first soaked in sugar syrup then dried and coated in layers of refined sugar.
  3. Sugars Used - Candied versions often use corn syrup along with cane sugar. Glacé cherries are made with pure cane sugar or glucose syrup for crystallization.
  4. Texture - The multi-step glacé method results in a very firm, almost crisp texture compared to a softer candied cherry.
  5. Use - Glacé cherries are most often used for baking and confections as mentioned above, while candied cherries adorn sundaes and ice cream.

While quite similar and often confused, the technical difference lies in the processing method.

Glacé cherries have a higher sugar content with their distinct crystallized crunch, while candied cherries are generally softer and semi-preserved in sweet syrup.

Candied cherries in a bowl and loose on a countertop

How to Make Candied Cherries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cherries, pitted and drained
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the cherries to the sugar syrup and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Once the cherries are cool, coat them in sugar. Place the coated cherries on a wire rack to dry.
  4. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Cherry Tree

What are the Different Types of Cherry Trees?

There are many different types of cherry trees that you can grow. Some of the most popular varieties include:

  • Bing cherries
  • Cherokee cherries
  • Tart cherries
  • Sweet cherries

Best Area to Grow Cherries

Unlike money, cherries do grow on trees! The best area to grow cherries is in an area with full sun and well-drained soil. Cherries need to be watered regularly and should be fertilized every year in the spring.

The best fertilizer for cherry trees is a slow-release fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.

When are Cherries Ready to Harvest?

Cherries are usually ready to harvest in late June or early July. Cherries can be harvested by hand or with a cherry picker.

Thank you so much for stopping by to learn how to dehydrate cherries!

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