How to Dry Cranberries
Make your own natural, rustic Christmas decorations by learning how to dry cranberries. The dried cranberries turn a deep red color and add just a perfect pop of color of the holiday season.
It's the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I am sitting here with the sun streaming in and the windows open. This is rather unusual for the last days of November but I won't complain much. Children are scattered on the couches, curled up with a good book and Christmas music is playing in the background. I have three real trees up in the house and I have one partially decorated. The other two are waiting their turn but in the meantime I am enjoying them just the way they are. I am working towards creating a more slow and meaningful holiday season with my family and so I am doing several different homemade holiday ornaments. I recently shared how to dry oranges and how to use those dried oranges for a holiday garland. Yesterday I took the time to dry cranberries, which took much longer than I thought, but I really like them.
How to Dry Cranberries in the Oven
1: Put a large pot on the stove with enough water to cover the cranberries. Bring the water to a boil. Put the washed cranberries in a bowl. Then pour the boiling water over the cranberries. Leave the bowl in a safe place, and let the cranberries sit. You will hear the skins pops, don't leave the berries in the water for more than 5 to 10 minutes, the berries will then be ready.
2: Drain the water and spread the cranberries in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Then put them in the freezer for two hours. The freezing process helps the berries dry faster.
3: Remove the cranberries from the freezer and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn on your oven to the lowest possible temperature. Put your cranberries in the oven and allow them to dry which can take 5 to 7 hours. Take the time to turn them every 30 minutes to help the drying process. There will be some that get a little darker than others and some that you will have to pull apart after they dry.
How to Decorate With Dried Cranberries
One of the ways to decorate with cranberries is to create a garland. Simply take a needle and fishing line or another type of strong string and place the cranberries on the needle, threading them down to create a garland. Use the garland on Christmas trees or simply add to some greenery.
Cranberries are also wonderful for simmering on the stove with a mixture of cloves, cinnamon sticks, dried oranges and rosemary.