Dried cranberries are a great way to preserve the flavors of the holiday season for use in baked goods or added to salads or other savory dishes. Cranberries dry best when cut or pierced. My recipe simplifies the process by tossing them into a food processor and pulsing just enough to give them a rough chop. The process may take 8-12 hours, but it’s pretty hands-off after popping them into an oven. Once finished, you can add them to our Spinach Salad or use them to make Gingerbread Scones with Cranberries. Because the dried cranberry weight will vary, be sure to divide the dried yield by eight to calculate the nutritional value.
- 16 ounces fresh cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 175F. If your oven does not have a setting below 200F, you should be able to use a “Warm and Hold” setting.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper over a rack in a sheet pan or shallow roasting pan. You may need two pans to accommodate all of the berries.
- Rinse the cranberries in cold water. Pick out any with blemishes and discard them.
- Dry with a clean towel and place one-third to one-half of the cranberries in a food processor. The amount of cranberries depends on the size of your food processor. You want to pulse them in small batches so that the cut pieces are more uniform in size. Filling the food processor may result in less uniformity.
- Pulse the cranberries 4-6 times or until roughly chopped. Place the chopped cranberries in a single layer on top of the parchment paper. If there are any berries that were not chopped, use a knife or kitchen shears to cut them.
- Place in the oven and let dry for 8-12 hours. Check about every 4-5 hours by stirring lightly with your fingers. If any larger pieces are not drying, cut them into smaller pieces.
- When the cranberries are uniformly dry, remove them from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Store in glass jars or airtight containers. If dry enough, they can be stored at room temperature for several days. I like to put my jars in the freezer for longer storage.