Dried fruit can be used in trail mix, served at parties, or simply enjoyed as-is. However it also makes a great ingredient in baked goods, sauces, braised dishes and desserts. Try adding finely chopped dried fruit to scones, soda bread, cookies, muffins, homemade granola, granola bars and more.
Adding dried fruit to braising dishes just before the slow-braise will rehydrate it and infuse its flavors into the sauce. Some varieties will also break down during the braising process.
Dried fruit is sometimes rehydrated before being used as an ingredient. The most common way to do this is to place the fruit in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until plump, then drain the water.
Other methods include soaking the fruit overnight in the refrigerator (results may vary with the variety), steaming, or poaching in liquid on the stove. However, this poaching liquid need not be pure water. Some chefs rehydrate dried fruit in liquor to infuse it with additional flavor.
Dried gooseberries are a great way to balance the sweetness of desserts or other dried fruit in trail mixes, granolas and granola bars. In savory applications their zing can be used to cut the richness of fatty or stronger flavored meats & poultry like duck, goose, lamb and game meats. Their slightly firm texture makes them easy to work with.