Method for Drying Blueberries

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Method for Drying Blueberries

Postby Dan England » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:19 am

We sometimes buy and enjoy dried blueberries. They seem to contain some moisture as they are semi-plump, not as shriveled as raisins. We are picking berries from our plants now and would like to dry some of the crop. Does anyone know a method for drying blueberries? Thanks, Dan
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Postby Pete1941 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:53 am

Dan, we have a good crop of blueberries as well this year and will be drying some to keep through the winter. 2 methods:
Place berries on a baking pan, single layer, place in a sunny location for 4 to 5 days. I cut a piece of nylon screen wire to a little larger size than the pan and fasten on to the pan with clothes pins to keep the flies and bugs away. This is the best way I have found, berries stay a little sweeter seems to me.

Method #2: Place berries on baking pan and place into oven set to 150 degrees for 4 to 5 hours. The drying time depends on juice content of the berries. Pete
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Postby Dan England » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:11 am

Hey Pete, Thanks. We will be trying the sun-dried method. I assume plastic screen will be available at a hardware store? We are fortunate this spring in having a rain or two each week. The grass is green and growing and the blueberries are plump and juicy. We did our second picking this morning. Now for a request for another recipe. Janie wants to make preserves from frozen blueberries. Does anyone have a good recipe for this? Dan
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Postby Pete1941 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:10 pm

Dan, most all hardware or home improvement stores carry the fine guage screen mesh. A lot of folks don't do the screen, but I think it's just a little more sanitary :!: .

Now, on the recipe for preserves, we tried it a couple of years ago and didn't like the preserves at all. The tiny seeds from the blueberries are very irritating to say the least. Neither my wife, nor I, have dentures and it was still very irritating and to the folks that we let try it with dentures, I can only imagine what they did with the balance or what they said. Since then, we have made only jelly from the recipe on the Sure-Jell box and everyone loves it, can't keep enough made! Guess the rain doesn't determine how well blueberries do because we are in the midst of an extreme drought here, 13 inches short of normal so far and yet we have an abundance of blueberries. Just my thoughts, you and the wife might like the preserves :!: . Pete
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Postby Dan England » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:57 pm

Pete: I set out a pan of blueberries in a sunny area this morning to start the drying process. Went off to my son's place to play with the Cub. Dark clouds came up so I headed home to find 3/4 inch of water in the drying pan. Will start the process again tomorrow, but we have good chances of rain through Tuesday. Janie picked up packages of Sure-Jell today and is going to try the jelly recipe. I will let you know how it turns out. Dan
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Postby Pete1941 » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:27 pm

Sorry about the blueberries Dan, maybe better luck next time. I know you will enjoy the blueberry jelly, it is absolutely wonderful. Pete
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Postby Rudi » Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:43 pm

Dan:

Em and I freeze em. Pick up the box, put em in the freezer.. poof :!: All Done Image We have probably 100 lbs in the freezer at the moment. Come end of July/August probably none left and time for a new batch.. :shock: 8) :lol:

About the same for Strawberries and Raspberry's. We do have to wash the Straw and Rasp Berries though.. The Blueberries are usually pretty clean. Seeing as we are in the world's BlueBerry Capital Region, they are inexpensive, come in 5lb boxes and are well cleaned. Can't pick em cheaper..

They are good on breakfast cereals (either the hot or cold varieties), make great desserts.. and Em freezes em in lots that are perfect for her BlueBerry Crisps.. these are so good and so filling that many a time we just have a huge slice for dinner.. :!: :wink: :D

I don't think I have had a dried blueberry though.. :roll: :? :?: :!: :?:
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Postby Dan England » Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:02 pm

Rudi: What are Blueberry Crisps? Do you have a recipe, might like to try them. Janie is an excellent cook and likes to try new things. Dan
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Postby Pete1941 » Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:22 pm

Rudi, when you have 15 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild, it gets a little expensive down our way to purchase berries. They ususally sell for around $15 to $18 dollars, if you go pick them somewhere, for a gallon. As far as dried, we use them in the dried fruit snacks along with apples, peaches, bananas, black berries and the like for a healthy snack rather than junk food. Ours are so pretty this year even with very little rain, they are about the size of US nickels and doesn't take long to pick a gallon. All fruit and vegetables in and around GA have taken a drastic price increase due to the late freeze the first week in April and now the drought. Almost wiped out the GA peach and apple crop this year. But it will get better, just have to gripe a little now and then, human nature :lol: . Pete
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Postby Rudi » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:16 pm

Dan:

Will try to get Em to post the recipe in time.. we are going through Kristina's graduation from High School and she is busy.. and I do mean busy... then my Mom is coming next weekend.. it should slow down a bit by then.

She will post is asap..

Pete:

Kind of understand. We are the same here.. Peaches cost a fortune and are one of my favourite fresh fruits.. so I guess with the Ga crop not so great so far, prices will go through the roof. Good thing I gots me 2 Peach trees and then we will see how many we can get. Last year the birds got my 6 peaches.. I was really unhappy..

Blueberries etc., are very plentiful here.. we even have a pair of blueberry rakes that we used for years.. but it is a lot of work. Our blueberries are the lowbush variety, hence will be much smaller than the highbush varieties that I assume you have.

Either way, they are great..

and Dan.. Blueberry Crisp is awesome... :!: 8) :lol: :D
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Postby Dan England » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:06 am

Well, the drying process is going slow. I believe that we have had rain in four of the last five days. A litttle over half-inch yesterday, three-quarter of an inch the day before that. We usually have from two to four hours sunshine and I set the berries out at that time and remove them if heavy clouds appear. I realize that they could finish drying in the oven but just want to try natural sunlight. Dan
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Postby Pete1941 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:32 am

Good morning Dan, Sure wish you could send some of your rain down our way. We have moved out of the critical drought situation to the highest level of exceptional. Now over 14" deficit in our area, total outdoor watering ban with hefty fines, small streams are beginning to dry to a trickle, even trees are beginning to die. I have never seen anything like this in my life, but hope and pray for rain soon. Good luck with the berries, and I'm waiting on the Crisps recipe as well from Rudi and Em. Take care, Pete
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Postby Dan England » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:42 am

Pete: South-west Arkansas is in an ideal location for rain this spring. Texas is getting hammered with way too much rain. We seem to be catching just the edge of the storms, providing sufficient rainfall and moderate temperatures but not getting flooded. Crops are looking good, as are lawns and flower gardens. We usually have hot, dry weather by this time of the year. I hope the south-eastern states recieve some much-needed rain soon. Dan
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Postby Pete1941 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:35 pm

Thanks Dan, and I certainly hope we get some rain soon or the gardens are going to be history for this year. Pete
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Postby Pepper » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:55 pm

If anyone is a fan of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" like me, he just did an episode on drying fruits. He sandwiches the fruit in a single leyer between air conditioner/heater filters and straps it to a box fan for 12 hours. Does the same to dry herbs as well. Seems like a workable idea.
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