Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Drying Strawberries

Drying fruit at home is easy and rewarding, and the end product is invariably excellent. Among all the strawberries we put into the freezer at this time of year, we always make sure to dry a load or two as well. We enjoy them in our oatmeal all winter long. (Other good local fruit candidates for drying are peaches and apples and pears. Tomatoes are easy and good too, if you like "sun-dried" tomatoes.)

Wash and hull the strawberries and cut off any bad spots. Try to choose berries of approximately similar size, to the extent possible - this will help them dry more evenly. Cut small and medium berries in half lenthwise; larger specimens can be cut into thirds or even quarters if very big.

Spread the berries on the dehydrator trays. You can crowd them in pretty close so long as they are not actually on top of each other; they will shrink considerably as they dry.

In my dehydrator, I find it takes around 10-14 hours to dry strawberries. I start checking after 10 hours and remove any that are fully dried. I check about every hour or so. You can do this on a weekend, or if you are home in the morning, start them overnight so they are ready for you to begin checking on them in the morning.

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