Preserving the Harvest: How to make raisins from fresh grapes
For any of you who grow grapes but never seem to use them all, how about making raisins?
Raisins are dried grapes, this we know.
Making raisins from fresh grapes involves only one small step, yet — if you’re like me — few of us have ever tried the process at home.
This year, since we are experiencing somewhat of a bumper crop of grapes coming from our tiny backyard vineyard, the children and I decided it would be fun to give raisin-making a shot. Talking advantage of our 105+ temperatures here in Phoenix, we set out on this new discovery!
Using a large pizza pan — a small wire cooling rack or window screen are great options too — I placed our bunches of grapes outside and let the sun’s free energy get to work!
Approximately twice a day I’d go out and turn the bunches of grapes from side-to-side.
Fresh grapes contain about 80% water and as you can imagine dehydrating them takes a while — like 4-5 days. But the results are so worth it…if you’re patient. These grapes in the picture above are at the end of full day in the sun. You can see that just a couple are starting to turn.
Here we are at day 5. Now we’re talkin’! Sweet, yummy, and homemade…raisin victory
The quality of dried grapes — as opposed to those that commercially-prepared — is excellent! And certainly one of the best ways to preserve grapes, in my opinion. Not only is the taste AMAZING, but this is a super fun, and cheap, summer project for the children.
For best the results, use seedless grapes. Additionally, I don’t recommend that you sun-dry grapes in areas of the world that experience high levels of humidity. Instead you may want to dry your grapes ina dehydrator. You can also set your oven to a temp of 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit and leave them to dry for up to 24 hours, turning them 3-4 times through the process.
How about you…have you ever tried your hand at raisin making?