Apple Sweetened Dried Cranberries
- Wash the cranberries. Place them 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, but don’t worry if there are a few duds that don’t. We’ll take care of those a bit later.
- Drain the cranberries in a colander, then gently wrap them in a clean dishtowel to get rid of as much of the water clinging to them as possible.
- Combine the cranberries with a simple apple syrup made with 2 parts water to 1 chopped apples. (boil down apples until you can puree it into a thick syrup, keep as is or strain through cheesecloth. You can add spices like cloves and cinnamon to the mix). If the apples aren’t in season you may need add a tablespoon of maple syrup as they will be tart.
- You’ll need 1/4 cup of apple syrup for 12 ounces of cranberries (the amount usually found in commercially sold bags of cranberries).
- Let cranberries soak in apple syrup for up to 1 day
- Set a rack in a baking sheet. Cover it with two layers of paper towels and a sheet of parchment paper.
- Put the blanched, sweetened cranberries on the covered rack. Leave about 1/4-inch of space in between the berries on all sides so that air can circulate between the fruits.
- 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.
Dry the Cranberries
- Turn the oven on to its lowest setting. On many ovens, this is 150F (ideal would be 135F, if your oven goes that low). Set the baking dish of cranberries in the oven 8 hours or overnight.
- Check the cranberries after 8 hours. They should be fully dry but still somewhat leathery or pliable.
- You won’t be completely sure if the cranberries are fully dehydrated until they have cooled (you know how cookies crisp up after you take them out of the oven? Same deal with dried fruit). Once you think they are dry, turn off the oven and take out the cranberries. Let them cool for 20 to 30 minutes.