Freezing Cherries-Dehydrating Apples


Fall is Fruit Harvesting season where I live and going to a local orchard to either pick your own or to buy a box of fresh fruit is an enjoyable family outing. The smell and taste of freshly picked cherries or apples just doesn’t compare to the grocery store. If you don’t have a local orchard, there is sure to be a farmers market nearby where you can stock up on local fruit.

Re-Visit Your Local Farmers Market

Dehydrating Apples:

It is easy to make your own dried apple rings or pieces to keep in your pantry for snacks or an addition to your morning oatmeal especially if you have a food dehydrator.

You can use your oven as well, but without a fan it takes longer and ties up your oven as well as heats up your kitchen.

Core and slice your apples in as uniform pieces as possible. The thinner they are the faster they will dry. Cut out any bruised or bad spots as you go. Place the apple rings on the dehydrator trays or oven racks and set the temperature to about 140ºF. If you’re using a dehydrator with a fan check back in about 8 hours to see how they’re doing. The apple slices will be dry when they have a leather consistency. Be sure they are completely dry before you package them so no mold can grow and contaminate your whole batch. Store in air tight containers in a cool dry place.

Learn about an Apple Slicer-Peeler-Corer as well as Freezing Apples Here!

Keep Apples from Turning Brown by three easy methods: Apples are notorious for browning. Once you have washed, cored and/or peeled your apples, you will want to either:

(1) Dissolve ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid, also known as “FruitFresh”, into 3 tablespoons of water then sprinkle over the apples and blend.

(2) Soak sliced apples in a solution of 2 tablespoons of salt per 1 gallon of water, stir water a bit to make sure all have been submerged, or

(3) Steam-blanch them for 1 ½ minutes then cool them in ice water before freezing.

Any of the three methods mentioned above will keep apples from browning and must be applied before apples are frozen.

Freezing Cherries:

Cherries are already little bundles of natural sugar dressed up as fruit, so there is no need to add additional sugar.

There are several ways to pack cherries for freezing. The best method selected will depend upon how you want to use the frozen product.

Sugar Syrup Recipes: The sugar syrup recipe is useful because it preserves the flavor and texture best. Use 2 cups of sugar added to every 3 cups of water. Of course, you can scale this up or down to according to the table below. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Chill. Add ½ teaspoon of ascorbic acid (Fruit Fresh) to each quart of syrup. Pour ½ cup of syrup into the freezer container then add cherries. If necessary, add more syrup until the cherries are completely covered and place a small piece of waxed paper on top to keep the cherries submerged. Leave ½ inch headspace for pints, 1 inch for quarts.

Syrup Pack: A light syrup is recommended for sweet cherries while a medium syrup can be used for sour cherries. Allow at least 1/2 to 2/3 cup of syrup for each pint size jar of fruit.

Type of

Syrup

Sugar

(cups)

Water

(cups)

Approx.

Yield (cups)

Light

1 1/2

5 3/4

6 1/2

Medium

2 1/4

5 1/4

6 1/2

Heavy

3 1/4

5

6 1/2

Sugar Pack: Mix 2/3 cups sugar per 1 quart of sour cherries or 1/3 cups sugar per quart of sweet cherries. Place cherries into freezer containers leaving at least 1/2 inch head space.

Loose Cherry Pack: This method entails placing the freshly pitted cherries directly into freezer containers.  Make sure to remove as much air as possible and remember to leave at least 1/2 to 3/4 inch head room at the top.

Unsweetened Pack:  Place washed, pitted fresh cherries in a single layer on a cookie sheet or shallow tray, then place in the freezer. Once the cherries are completely frozen,  transfer them to freezer bags or plastic containers for long term storage. Squeeze as much air out of the container as possible. You can even use a straw to suck the air out if you would like.

Use frozen cherries in smoothies, shakes, or any baked goods in which you would use fresh pitted cherries.



Recipes with Fruits – Cherry Tarts!

Fruit for Gifts Here