Store dried fruit in a cool, dry place (like a cupboard or closet) in an air-tight container.
At least twelve months.
Dried fruit can be used in trail mix, served at parties, or simply enjoyed as-is. However it also makes a great ingredient in baked goods, sauces, braised dishes and desserts. Try adding finely chopped dried fruit to scones, soda bread, cookies, muffins, homemade granola, granola bars and more.
Adding dried fruit to braising dishes just before the slow-braise will rehydrate it and infuse its flavors into the sauce. Some varieties will also break down during the braising process.
Dried fruit is sometimes rehydrated before being used as an ingredient. The most common way to do this is to place the fruit in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until plump, then drain the water.
Other methods include soaking the fruit overnight in the refrigerator (results may vary with the variety), steaming, or poaching in liquid on the stove. However, this poaching liquid need not be pure water. Some chefs rehydrate dried fruit in liquor to infuse it with additional flavor.
Because rainier cherries are rather sweet, it is common to pair them with flavors that balance that sweetness with tart, bitter or sour notes. Dark chocolate, cinnamon, citrus juice (lemon, lime or orange), Tellicherry pepper, fine vinegars (particularly balsamic), crème fraiche and particularly dry red wines are all good pairing choices. If you’re looking for a good dried cherry to pair with sweeter ingredients like white chocolate, consider using dried tart cherries instead.