Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Strawberry Shrivels

I have loved all the strawberries this past month. The stores were loaded with them and everyone was serving them. Sliced strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream on top, mmmm. Strawberry freezer jam, mmmmm. Strawberries just plain, mmmmm. Rachael felt the same way and when she saw this pin for dried strawberries that said "Dried strawberries recipe, so chewy and delicious! They taste like candy but are healthy and natural" she couldn't resist.  

The Original Pin
http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/recipes/dried-strawberries-ruscalleda/

Those just look like candy. Mmmmmm. These are making me hungry. Rachael says, "The directions are extremely simple, so I feel confident that I followed them correctly. I even set a timer so I didn't over cook them. I will say, it smelled FABULOUS. It smelled like cooking strawberry jam." And talk about extremely simple directions...there are 2 steps. I love 2 step projects!

The Pinstrosity

I can't think of a better pre-summer day than a house filled with sunlight and the smell of strawberries. It sounds great. Rachael says, "It was great, but the strawberries just didn't work out. It also messed up my pan and pulled some of the coating off." No bueno. Having never dried strawberries (or any fruit for that matter) before, I have no idea what might have gone wrong. This is another one that I need to test out (I'm hoping after this week and next week I can start testing pins again...end of the school year craziness has set in around here). So, until I can test it out for myself...is there anyone out there with dried fruit knowledge that could help out with this Pinstrosity? 

28 comments:

  1. Next time...try a lower temperature...my oven has a "keep warm" setting which, according to my oven thermometer, is about 175*. Also, lift them off the baking tray. I find that wire cooling racks work well. If you don't have cooling racks, parchment paper will help, but the wire racks seemed to work best. I've never personally done strawberries, but I did peach slices last summer. Check them after 2-3 hours and see how they're doing. My peach slices took about 5 hours, but smaller fruits will probably take less time. Better luck next time!

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  2. I had the SAME thing happen when I tried the pin! My husband equated the result to slugs. We were so bumbed. Someone please figure out how to make this one better :(

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  3. I would use parchment paper to help with the sticky-ness, but i found this website and in the comments it has peoples tips on drying fruit in the oven. Good Luck!

    http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-dry-fruit-in-the-oven-92637

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  4. We've done this before, and it worked! Our old kitchen was too small for a dehydrator, so we dried everything in the oven. You have to make sure the heat is VERY LOW (like 200 degrees or lower, if your oven will get that low) and be prepared to sit around a while because it takes a long, long time. The one thing you really need is airflow, so we propped open our oven just a bit with the handle of a wooden spoon. This lowers the temp as well. Also, some parchment paper on the pan is a good idea, since all of that juice is coming out and evaporating. Don't try to rush it at all! I guarantee rushing will spoil anything that is dried.

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  5. ALSO! (Sorry forgot to mention it!) You should definitely leave the strawberries WHOLE. Just take off the green part.

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  6. I'm sure it's possible to achieve similar results in the oven but having never done it, I can't say for sure. What you see in the picture seems more like it would come from a food dehydrator than the oven.

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  7. Wow! You all are awesome. I asked for help and you gave it. Thanks everyone.

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  8. Doesn't the original pin tells you to keep your oven at 150 for two to three hours?

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    Replies
    1. The original pin (found at http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/recipes/dried-strawberries-ruscalleda/) says the following:

      "1. Halve or quarter the strawberries, depending on their size; place on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper;
      2. Dry in the oven for three hours at 100° C / 210° F."

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  9. I tried this and had the same result as you, though I did cover my pan with parchment... I may just try again with some of these hints!!

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  10. Mine also turned out like the pinstrosity. Parchment paper didn't help. Decided I'll just go to Costco and buy them

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  11. This is exactly what happened when I made these! Glad to know it wasn't just me!

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  12. Umm...just made these last night. Followed directions EXACTLY. 6 year old Girls kept asking for the strawberries that taste like Twizzlers. We kept waiting. They looks JUST like yours! I made myself eat a few. My husband laughed. My twin girls spit them out and said, "These don't taste like Twizzlers!' Hilarious! My house smelled great too, though!

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  13. Most dehydrators are set to only heat up to 100 degree so if you can get your oven that low your set.
    I do happen to have access to a dehydrator (my dad owns one) and I can tell you, they do taste amazing and the best part is that they are so much healthier than the ones you buy in the store that are dipped in chemicals and such to keep them looking like the original pin. Even dehydrated they are not beautiful but they are definitively worth the time!

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  14. I tried this too and my oven was very low and mine turned out just like yours. I even tried to eat them and they tasted worse then they looked!!

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  15. I tried this too and mine turned out just like the pinstrosity! My dad happened to come buy for a visit that evening and was wondering what I was attempting to make. He suggested leaving the oven door propped open so the moisture can escape. This one might be worth another try since it is so simple and at the very least it leaves your house smelling yummy!

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  16. No luck here either! My husband said, "it's an oven not a dehydrator" when I complained that I followed the directions and they still didn't turn out right!

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  17. Yep... that's how mine looked too.

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  18. Mine didn't look exactly like that, but were just as gross. Instead of being all dried out, they were gooey and sitting in a puddle of strawberry syrup. I think I'm going to have to invest in a dehydrator.

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  19. Yeah, mine pretty much looked like that too and didn't taste very good. So disappointing after smelling them cooking all afternoon!

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  20. Ha ha....that was one of only a few fails. I was disappointed but I had a large blob of strawberry goo.

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  21. Im soo happy mine werent the only ones that turned out like that. Mine tasted sour not sweet, and just plain nasty! I was VERY dissapointed!

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  22. I followed the directions on the pin--210 deg for 3 hrs. While they didn't burn, they definitely weren't dried out and not sweet at all. Oh well, it was worth trying but the picture on the pin is false!!

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  23. looooow temps for sure! and prop your oven open. also the strawberries will brown some so idk where the original picter came from, ive never seen dried strawberries so red, even store bought!

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  24. if i were you i would put these on parchment paper instead of just the metal pan, and cook it on the lowest temperature until done, that way there will be no scorching!

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  25. I did this today. I had large strawberries, removed greens and cut in half. Placed cut side up on metal rack over cookie sheet. Oven set at 175º and propped the oven door open about 2 inches and placed a fan blowing into oven on low. It's been 3 hours, not losing any juices, took one out to try...good sweet/tart flavor....going to let dehydrate about one more hour. Will post end result later.

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  26. The reason the ones in the picture looks so bright and pretty is because they are commercially made using sulphur dioxide and sweetened. SD keeps them from changing color and effectively breaking down.

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  27. I have done this before and it worked! The secret is low temperature and airflow. I cooked mine at 175 F for about 3 hours, opening the oven door and flipping them over every 30 minutes. Still weren't beautiful, though.

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