It may seem ridiculous to dry your own grapes in the oven, but doing so gives you much more control over the result and opens up a range of flavor and texture possibilities. The homemade kind can come out plumper and juicier, with a flavor that's truer to that of a fresh grape, only more intense. Toss them into baked goods like Bran Muffins, serve them on a cheese board at a party, or make them a regular addition to salads.
Why It Works
- A low oven temperature dries the grapes more than it cooks them, preserving some of their fresh flavor.
- The juices on the baking sheet dry into a syrup, which caramelizes on the skins of the grapes, adding extra flavor.
- Using different grapes yields a variety of colors and flavors.
- Yield:Makes about 1 1/2 cups
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:4 hours (see note)
- 3 large bunches seedless grapes, preferably mixed colors, stemmed
- Vegetable or canola oil, for greasing
Preheat oven to 225°F (110°C). Very lightly grease 2 rimmed baking sheets with oil, then scatter grapes all over. Bake, checking periodically for doneness, until grapes are nicely shriveled and semi-dried but still slightly plump, about 4 hours (see note). (The exact time will depend on your grapes, your oven, and your preferred degree of dryness.) Let cool. Use a thin metal spatula to free any grapes that are stuck to the baking sheet.
The dried grapes can be refrigerated in a sealed container for about 3 weeks. (How long they keep will also depend on their degree of dryness; drier grapes will keep longer.)