Sunday, October 2, 2011

Leo's Bounty

I have been busy preserving all the wonderful produce my husband has grown this summer.

 We started with cherries....
After giving them to just about everyone we knew, even the truck driver that brought a load of gravel for our backyard project, we still had more than we could use.

So we decided to dry them. Leo, always eager to help, pitted every single cherry and then we cut each one in half.

I set the dryer temp to 135, and waited eagerly to try one.
They kind of look like raisins when they are done drying, but they are great on granola with sliced bananas and nuts. They add a tart flavor, which I like.

We store them in ziploc freezer bags in the cupboard away from direct heat. If produce is dried completely it can be safely stored in jars, plastic containers, or freezer bags.

I am also drying pears. We don't spray any of our trees so I just wash the pears and leave the peeling on. I slice them and spread them around the dryer trays.

The drying time depends on the thickness of the fruit. I prefer mine thinner, and my husband prefers his thicker, so we often do a variety,  Check the fruit throughout the day  and remove pieces that are dried completely. If fruit is not completely dried and there is still moisture in the fruit, it will affect storage time. As long as all moisture is gone, the fruit can be safely stored in your cupboard for months.


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