EDIT: I have decided I like these better made differently. You can find the updated recipe here: Make Your Own “Craisins” ~ Take Two
I have always found it frustrating that you can’t find plain “dried cranberries” without sugar in the stores or on line. I was very pleased to find out how easy it is to make them on your own! I needed cranberries for a broccoli salad I wanted to make and these worked out perfectly!
“Craisins” ~ THM FP
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- boiling water to cover cranberries (3-4 cups)
- 1/8 cup xes sweetener or gentle sweet
- 1/4 cup water
- Place cranberries in a large bowl or pot and pour boiling water over them. Let them soak in the hot water for 10 minutes. They should “pop” or split open. If you use frozen cranberries they probably will not pop, but you can fix that later.
- While cranberries are soaking make a simple syrup with the sweetener and 1/4 cup of water. Heat syrup over medium low heat until sweetener is dissolved then remove from heat.
- Drain the cranberries in a colander, then pour them onto a dishtowel to get rid of as much of the water clinging to them as possible.
- Combine the cranberries with the simple sugar syrup.
- Set a rack on a baking sheet and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Put the blanched, sweetened cranberries on the covered rack, leaving space between the berries so that air can circulate.
- As you are setting the cranberries in place, notice if any of the berries did not split during their 10-minute soak in hot water. Pierce those that did not split with the tip of a paring knife before adding them to the covered rack.
- Turn the oven on to 150 degrees and put the cranberries in the oven 8 to 12 hours.
- Check the cranberries after 8 hours. They should be fully dry but still somewhat leathery or pliable. If they are not, continue the dehydration process, checking occasionally.
- Once you think they are dry, turn off the oven and take out the cranberries. Let them cool for 20 to 30 minutes. After the cooling off period, tear one of the berries in half: there should be no visible moisture along the break. (I forgot to take a picture of this step!! Sorry!)
- Put the dried, cooled cranberries into glass jars, filling the jars about 2/3 full. Shake the jars a couple of times a day for one week. This redistributes the berries as well as any moisture they may still contain. If any condensation shows up on the sides of the jars, your fruit isn’t dried well enough yet and it needs to go back into the dehydrator for a few hours.
- Once your dried cranberries are conditioned, store them in airtight containers away from direct light or heat.