bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not All Directions are Created Equal

I recently got a dehydrator and decided to try it out this week. My friend Peggy, who picked the dehydrator up for me, had bought some cranberries that she was going to try drying for me. Since I brought the dehydrator home before she had a chance to dry the cranberries, she sent those, too. So I decided to do the cranberries, and I threw some apples in there too, since the settings were the same. The directions said to wash the cranberries and dry them whole, slice the apples and soak them in lemon juice for 2 minutes before putting them in. Cranberries were supposed to take 18 hours, and apples 23.

Well, the apples got done, but the cranberries didn't. So, I looked it up on the Internet and found this:

Dried Cranberries

Servings: 12 ounces

1 (12 oz.) bag of cranberries
2 quarts boiling water
1/4 cup sugar or corn syrup

In a bowl, pour boiling water over the cranberries or submerge them in a pot of boiling water with the heat turned off. Let them sit in the water until the skin pops. Do not let the berries boil or the flesh will turn mushy. Drain. If desired, coat the berries with either a light corn syrup or granulated sugar. Transfer the berries to a cooking sheet and place them in a freezer for 2 hours. Freezing the berries helps in breaking down the cell structure promoting faster drying. Put the berries on a mesh sheet in the dehydrator and dry for 10 to 16 hours, depending on the make of the dehydrator, until chewy and with no pockets of moisture.

Another method of drying is to turn on the oven for 10 minutes at 350 F. Then place the cranberries on a cookie sheet in the oven, turn off the oven, and let them sit overnight.

Store dried cranberries in the freezer. Keep in mind that dried cranberries can be used in place of raisins in recipes!

Source: Mary Bell 's "Complete Dehydrator Cookbook"

I don't want sugar on my dried cranberries, but the rest of it makes sense. So, I poked all the cranberries and opened them up. They felt like they were about ready to pop, but who knows how long that would have taken. Now I just have to keep an eye on them to see when they're dried, finally.

Also, I should probably see if I can get a dehydrator cookbook from the library, to see what else I can do.

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