Preserving Strawberries by Drying
While the best way to enjoy strawberries is fresh out of the garden, if you have a large harvest, preserving them becomes a practical way to keep them for future use. Drying them is an easy way to enjoy that amazing sweet strawberry flavor well after they’ve been picked.
I don’t have a dehydrator, so I used my oven to do the job — there is a bit of an issue with this in that even at such a low temperature, it can warm up the kitchen, and if you’re already baking in summer heat, it isn’t really feasible. As well, a dehydrator will consume less energy than an oven will. If your climate isn’t humid, you could dry your strawberries in the sun — it will take much more time but the idea is still the same. But if heat isn’t an issue, oven drying is a relatively quick method to dry fruit.
Dried Strawberries (Oven Method)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a large baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment.
Wash strawberries well and hull them. Cut large strawberries into halves or quarters, depending on the size (the smaller the pieces, the faster they will dry). Place the strawberries on the parchment.
Bake in the oven for up to 4 hours. Check the berries after 2 hours and make sure they are drying evenly. Turn the tray around if the berries seem to be baking more on one side than the other.
If, after 4 hours, the strawberries still aren’t dry, keep baking for more time, checking often, until they lose their residual moisture. Remove them from the oven and allow them to thoroughly cool before storing them in an airtight container.
You can follow the same procedure for peaches, too! Just make sure they are cut in small pieces before drying.
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