There’s no saying you have to forget about cranberries after the holiday feasting is over. Far from it! Cranberries are a quintessentially American food, and delicious in so many ways; in ferments, in cocktails, cooked with Brussels Sprouts, or dried…the list goes on. They are still available in bulk in many local groceries, or available frozen, so grab ‘em while you can and make this distinctly adult Fruit-roll. Kids might like it, too, if you’re raising ‘em right, but we secretly do not mind if they leave this one alone.
Consider it with cheese and charcuterie, or yes, packed in a picnic lunch basket. We might even slip it into a sandwich if we thought no one was looking. Rolled in parchment and kept at room temp in an airtight jar, this one should keep for about a month.
In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, water, sugar, ginger, and clove.
Bring to a low boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. As the berries cook, mash them with a fork or cooking spoon to release the flavor and soften the cranberries. Boil the mixture for about 5 minutes, until about half of the water has boiled away. The berries will crack and become very soft.
Run the berries through the blender to get a smooth puree, Add the orange zest and mix well.
Spread the smooth cranberry mixture in a thin layer on parchment paper, or on to a solid dehydrator sheet.
Place the sheet in the dehydrator at 135° F and allow to dehydrate for 6-8 hours, or until dry to the touch. You could also use an oven set at the lowest setting. Once the fruit leather is dry, remove it from the dehydrator sheet or parchment paper. If the back is sticky, return it upside down to the dehydrator and dry it for an additional hour, or until it is dry, neither tacky and sticky nor hard and crisp to the touch.
To store, place the leather on a fresh piece of parchment paper and roll it into a tube.
Place the rolls in an airtight container, and store at room temperature for about a month.
You can also cut it into strips for a fancy cheese board accompaniment, or use a cookie cutter to cut it into fun shapes. Not too fun, though. Or the kids will eat it all. Maybe it’s best to cut it into boring shapes. You decide.
Over to You
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