September 10, 2008

Fruit Leather

Due to some interest I'm going to post my super secret recipe for fruit leather. My grandma Masil used to make fruit leather when my cousins and I would go up to her house in Idaho for a week in the summer. So, here goes:
  • Peel (if desired, I don't because how will Guthrie's hair stay curly if she doesn't eat the skins on her fruit?) and quarter fruit. I've done as little as 3 cups and as much as 9, so use what you have.
  • Put in pot.
  • Add 1/4 cup of honey or sugar if desired. The rumor is that honey makes it more pliable. I usually only do it if the fruit really needs it.
  • Heat to boiling but not burning.
  • Cook for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours -- until the fruit is mushy and thick.
  • Take off heat.
  • Blend up either with a hand blender, food mill or blender. Be careful with a blender! You can also let it cool overnight before taking this step.
  • Blend to the consistency of yogurt or jam. If you need to you can add some water.*

If you have a dehydrator just pop it on there. Set it to 135 or so and it takes 8 hours give or take an hour or two. See this is all a very exact science. Thickness can vary a little bit, but you want it pretty uniform. I like to put down parchment paper first so then it's got its own wrapper. I'm going to recommend this if you don't have a dehydrator- she seems to have gotten the best results and obviously has the best photo!

Ta-Da! Fruit leather! Not to get all Jessica Seinfeld on you, but don't tell your kids they're fruit rollups. They'll totally be expecting something else and your ego and excitement will be totally shattered when they give you The Look of Disdain.
It generally keeps for a few weeks. If I make a big batch I put a bunch in the freezer. It'll stay good in there for 3 months and is no big deal to defrost a few at a time.

*So, let's talk about pectin and fruit options. Blueberries are crazy thick when cooked and cooled. I would combine them with a watery fruit-- like pears and then sometimes even add water to get the right consistency. Apples and pears are a great base for other fruit flavors because they're so mild. So if you have 4 apples and only 1 mango you're good to go. Berries are great. We don't mind the seeds- they give some flair to the leather. Ha.
We like:
pear blueberry
peach nectarine
and I'm sure loads of others, we just haven't found them yet!

Let me know how it goes and what flavors your family loves! It seems like a lot of work but so much of it is hands off that it's not bad in the end.
Happy Fruit Leathering!


Melissa said...

You have inspired me! I will add making fruit leather to my ever growing list of things to do! I just love Guthrie's shirt - which fashion-savvy friend bought that for her????? Love you!

Carol said...

Wow - what a cute kid!

..melissa.. said...

I second Melissa's comments..

I want to make fruit leather and I want Guthrie's wardrobe :)

garbo said...

Have I told you lately how cool you are?! Like the coolest! Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!


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