Test Kitchen video tip: Rehydrating raisins and dried fruit
Have a batch of raisins (or dried cherries, currants, figs, dates) that are particularly dry? Rehydrate them to plump them up before eating. Place the raisins in a bowl and pour boiling water to cover. They'll soften in minutes.
This also works great when adding raisins (or other dried fruit) to recipes when baking. Consider rehydrating the raisins in fruit juice, or try a liquor (I love rehydrating raisins in rum before adding them to coffee cakes) for extra depth and added flavor. Combine the raisins and liquid in a small saucepan and heat gently until the liquid warms and the fruit plumps up, then remove from heat and strain before using.
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-- Noelle Carter
Video credit: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times