Have you ever tried to make home-made raisins? This was my first try at it and I only tried it because I had a ton of grapes that no one in my house wanted to eat. I don’t like grapes, but I do love raisins. Weird right? I also have a kid who will douse everything in ketchup but won’t eat a tomato… crazy makes the world more interesting I guess.
I have a handy-dandy dehydrator that I don’t use nearly as much as I should so I got it out from in the deep dark corners of my pantry and got my grapes ready. As this was my first try I had to look up how to do it. My research yielded two very important steps: blanching and soaking.
First, blanch the grapes for a short time, just long enough to crack the skin a little. Drain, rinse, and then toss into a bowl with lemon infused water (don’t skip the lemon!) to soak for 10 minutes. Pat dry and place into the dehydrator. I placed them on my dehydrator carefully making sure none of them touched. In fact, I spread them as far apart as possible using all my layers.
First off let me say this, it took forever! Perhaps a bigger, stronger, more professional dehydrator may have cranked these babies out faster but my little one took almost 30 hours. I turned it off at night and had it running all day. I was paranoid I would burn the motor out and I didn’t think raisins were a good enough reason to ruin a good machine.
Now let me tell you the results. Of course I got raisins, I mean that’s what I set out to make so no surprise there. But have you ever eaten warm fresh raisins? Oh my goodness it is a whole new experience for me. Quite different from opening up that little red box and getting these little itty bitty dried up pieces of fruit. These were big, warm, juicy, delicious things. My taste buds were confused as I eat raisins all the time but these were kicked up another notch!
I am actually finishing the bowl off as I type. So good!
Next time I find grapes on sale I just might get another bunch… or two.