Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Drying Cranberries

Remember how I mentioned buying upwards of 50 pounds of cranberries last fall?  Here's a glimpse at what I've done to preserve some of them outside of the freezer.  I highly recommend picking up (or borrowing, like I did) a food dehydrator if you're into picking local fruit and/or you have kids who like dried fruit.  Our girls love craisins the most, so I tried making some myself.  It was SO easy, and they are SO good.  Sweet and tart.  Yum.

What you need is a pound or so of fresh or frozen cranberries.  Either boil them until the skins split (less than a minute), or cut them in half yourself.  I found that halving them worked best and didn't add more water to the process like boiling would.  In a bowl add 1/2 cup of your choice of natural sweetener.  I used brown sugar.  I also added about 1/4 cup of honey.  Mix it all up, then spread the berries out onto several racks of your dehydrator.  Dehydrate for 8 hours or so, then check them.  You'll probably need 10 hours, but it's good to make sure you're not drying them too much.  They should be chewy inside and out.