29 August 2009

``Sun``-dried Tomatoes

I had been thinking I had planted way too many little tomatoes which I can`t do much with but eat fresh and not enough big tomatoes that I could try canning with. But then I remembered that Eliot Coleman said he dries his tomatoes and of course cherry tomatoes are better for that. So I looked up the best way to do that without a dehydrator and found that people were doing them in their oven without any special equipment. So I did it.

I washed the tomatoes and cut them in half (great thing about doing cherry tomatoes was I didn`t have to bother cutting out the stem part and they turned out fine). Then I lay them cut side up on a baking tray and put them in the oven.
People on the internet were talking about putting their oven as low as it goes to about 200F but mine goes all the way down to 100F so I did that for a while. But I got impatient so eventually I went up to 175F. And sometimes I had the door open and sometimes I didn`t. They really started going once I turned the oven to 175F. So it took about 6 hours in total but could have been faster if I had had the oven at 175F for longer.

Anyway I think they turned out pretty great! A lot were crispy, not really sun dried tomato texture but still worked and some were still too juicy to be sun dried tomatoes. But they all tasted like sun dried tomatoes and I figure will be great to add to pasta and maybe even some kind of really fancy soup. And so that I didn`t have to bother getting them all perfectly dry I just threw them all into the freezer when most were done so I don`t have to worry about mould. It was fun too. I am now thinking I definitely want to buy a dehydrator. Just think of all the fun things I could dehydrate!

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