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Make Your Own Raisins

Apr
20

Post by community member:

For hundreds of years, dried fruits have been popular for their convenience of storage and concentrated flavor and sweetness. We seem to have gone full circle from fruits dried on rocks in the sun, to commercially dried fruits packaged in convenient little boxes and pouches, and back again to the interest in making our own (and knowing what’s NOT in there).


Raisins are easy if you have a dehydrator. Sun-drying is possible, but I prefer to use a dehydrator.

I have been fortunate on several occasions to be able to buy flats of grapes for as little as $4. I usually juice them in the steam juicer (what we don’t eat) and give some away. I need to make more raisins!

I wash the grapes well in running water and let them air dry a bit. These were beautiful red grapes.

beautiful red grapes

You need to pierce the skins – this helps them dry evenly and faster than with the skins intact. I thread them on a metal skewer; slip them off when the skewer is full; repeat.

Doing this while watching TV isn’t a bad idea.

grapes on skewer

Load the prepared grapes onto the dehydrator trays and let them get going.

Here they are after 12 hours:

grapes after 12 hrs

After 24 hours:

raisins 24hrs

After 36 hours:

raisins 36 hours

And getting closer to RAISINS!

raisins getting close

The amount of time it takes from start to finish varies widely – the size of the grapes, the juiciness, your dehydrator, and the humidity can all affect the drying time.

But ‘homemade’ raisins are definitely the BEST – plump, juicy, huge and delicious!

I wanted to show you how nice they are when finished – but we ate ‘em.


You can also find Dede ~ wvhomecanner at Yahoo’s Canning2 Group.

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Posted by on April 20, 2011 | Permalink  

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Comments

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  1. 4-20
    6:46
    am

    How cool is that..I mean I always knew raisins are grapes but to actually see..Thanks for sharing.
    Granny Trace
    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  2. 4-20
    7:51
    am

    I dried some grapes into raisins and was shocked how beautiful and different they were from commercially bought ones.
    They were almost the size of prunes, and almost too sweet! I don’t think I can go back to store raisins again after knowing how good they should actually be!

  3. 4-20
    8:08
    am

    Home dried raisins are greatly superior to commercial raisins. One tip to try as an alternate to poking each grape – after removing the stems and washing the grapes freeze them. Freezing will crack the skins (and the cell walls) thus giving the same effect as poking. Lazy man’s way .

    By the way I dry mine in my Excalibur the “twin” of Dede’s – same model, ordered the same day from the same vendor. Mine has paid for itself many times over.

  4. 4-20
    9:49
    am

    What fun to see someone else making raisins.I learned to do it years ago when we lived in Southern CA.

  5. 4-20
    9:55
    am

    I am headed to the store today to get some grapes and make my own raisins. Will the green grapes be the “golden grapes” they sell in the stores. I use my dehydrator all the time and never even thought about raisins which I put in my homemade granola all the time. Thanks for the tips and pictures are wonderful.

  6. 4-20
    10:10
    am

    Dede,

    Thanks for the reminder. I just checked my home dried raisins and I need to replenish. Where can you buy flats of grapes for that price? That is fantastic. Around here the lowest prices I’ve seen are $1.99/pound. A little too expensive at this time.

    If my kids are around they volunteer to help me unload the trays if I’m drying grapes. Only problem, very few end up in jars, most are eaten right off the trays.

  7. 4-20
    11:37
    am

    I thought I had dried almost everything I was interested in…until last year a friend brought home dried raisins as a gift! OMG they were so tasty..so much better then store bought.

    Its on my list this year to try at home!

  8. 4-20
    12:02
    pm

    on the question of golden grapes when I dry grapes all end up looking the same (green, red, black – all seedless as I don’t bother with seeding).
    I haven’t tried soaking them in Fruitfresh, lemon juice or the like to retain the color – that might help.

  9. 4-20
    12:24
    pm

    Dede — do you have to stir or turn the grapes every so often or do you just let them be the whole time. Also, what temp do you use? Thanks so much. I’m looking forward to trying this.

  10. 4-20
    6:18
    pm

    Oh thanks David for reminding me about freezing them! I had forgotten that trick completely!
    Cbarn, like David said they all look pretty much the same when I have dried them. I do think some online sources say to pretreat w/lemon juice, etc. but I see no point. Kelly, that produce place near me sometimes gets a big load off the wholesale truck – they buy whatever is sent in one big lot. Sometimes it’s grapes, sometimes strawberries, might be mushrooms, fresh herbs. I think they get a heads up on what part of the load is and there are surprises too. So if it’s Friday and they have a LOT of something, it’s available by the flat. They’re wonderful and they know me after all the stuff I’ve gotten there LOL.
    JoJo I didn’t turn them – I did shake the tray now and then. I used the fruit setting on the Excalibur – 135.

  11. 4-20
    7:54
    pm

    I need to find a produce place like that. I was at Root’s Produce Auction yesterday but no real bargains. We had bad flooding over the weekend so a lot of the vendors weren’t there. Sometimes as they’re packing up you can get great deals. I admit to having grape envy!

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