Friday, October 26, 2012

Cranberries & Mushrooms, revisited

I checked the dehydrator when I got up for work the next day. The mushrooms were drying nicely, but weren't quite done, so I turned the temperature down about ten degrees and left the dehydrator running while I went to work. The hubster gets home first, so I called him that afternoon and asked him to turn off the dehydrator. When I got home, I checked the mushrooms and they looked great.

I also checked on the cranberries. They had been soaking for almost 24 hours by this point, so I drained them and spread them out on a pizza pan lined with parchment paper, and put them in the freezer for two hours. This is supposed to help them dehydrate faster, but I'm not sure I believe it.

The hubster brought me two canning jars from the back where we keep them, and I proceeded to fill them with the dehydrated mushroom slices. I had so many I had to grab a third jar. We will eat these relatively quickly, so I didn't add an oxygen absorber to the jars, but I did seal them with my FoodSaver.

24 oz of cranberries = one pint dehydrated.
After two hours, I pulled the cranberries out of the freezer and transferred them to the dehydrator trays. I  lined the dehydrator trays with plastic wrap so the berries wouldn't fall through the holes in the trays. I set the temperature at about 155 degrees and left them to dehydrate overnight.

I checked them periodically throughout the next day, but they were dehydrating very slowly. I did notice a berry or two that didn't seem to be shrinking at all. I punctured them with a steak knife, just to make sure the skin was severed enough to allow the berry to dehydrate properly. I also pulled back the edges of the plastic wrap lining the trays, to allow better air flow in the dehydrator.

I'm not sure how long I left them in the dehydrator. It was well over 24 hours. I'm still worried that they didn't dehydrate well enough to put them up for long-term storage, so I will probably try to use them up fairly quickly. Anybody have a good recipe that uses craisins?

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