Wash and pit pie cherries. Heat 2 cups of cherries and 1/2 cup of sugar until the liquid boils for 1 minute. (Cherry-sugar mixture will form own juice.) With a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to a dehydrator. Dry at 140-150°F until moisture decreases to 80% solids. Cherries will be firm and rubbery to the touch. For best results, base the drying on the final solids content of 80%. Freeze or vacuum package to avoid mold growth.
To calculate desired final cherry weight for 80% solids:
- Weigh a container for fresh and dried cherries on a scale. Note weight.
- Add fresh cherries to the container. Weigh. Subtract container weight.
- Calculate desired final weight. (Fresh cherry weight) times (.175) = desired weight of dried cherries.
- Add calculated desired final weight (#3 above) and weight of container (#1). When dried cherries reach this point, they are ready.
Source: Utah State University Extension https://bit.ly/2K746C3