My kids are lovin' all the apricot fruit leather I made last week. And no wonder--it is delicious.
We have an apricot tree, and I love having it. As I mentioned in my apricot-thyme jam post, we've been enjoying our apricots in all sorts of ways, but this is probably my kids' favorite. (Although, I think the apricot-strawberry smoothies have been divine.)
Once you know what you are doing, making fruit leather is a snap. I started doing it last year when a friend gave me a whole lot of plums from her tree, and by now I can whip it out without much thought, effort or recipe, which is nice because I often feel like my brain is too full and it's nice to just be able to do things easily.
Want a give it a whirl?
Here's what you need:
- 2 cups fruit puree (blend it or food-processor it)
- sugar? maybe? I didn't put any in the apricot fruit leather, but that plum fruit leather last year was TANGY and I'd put some in. (And a pretty good rule of thumb is, if I say it is too tangy, then for sure it is too tangy because I do like to pucker a bit when I'm eating my fruit stuffs.)
- cookie sheet or jelly role pan
- parchment paper cut to fit.
Here's what you do:
- Preheat your oven to as low as you can go. Mine went to 170. When reading about how to do this, most places recommended propping it open with a wooden spoon if your oven won't go any lower than that. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. :)
- Put your parchment paper onto your cookie sheet.
- Put your pureed fruit on top of the parchment paper and spread it as evenly as possible. Make sure to stay completely on the parchment paper. Make sure and keep the edges a bit on the thick side. If the puree tapers off real thin, then the edges will get crispy before the middle is dry enough.
- Now place it in the oven and let it dry out. I can't really even tell you how long--4 to 8 hours would be a good guess. It just depends on how thinly you spread it. Seems like I'm always in and out of the house when it is going, so I turn the oven off when I leave and back on when I get back. sometimes I start it at night and turn the oven off part way so it doesn't over do it in the night and then just turn it back on in the morning. It'll be done when it is no longer wet but before it gets crispy. You know, when it feels like leather.
- When it is finished, I like to role it up with the parchment paper like a fruit roll-up. (I've thought about making individual-sized fruit leathers like you get at the store--just by putting dollops of puree on the parchment paper--wouldn't that be fun?). Then I place toothpicks into through the role about every 2 inches or so as shown below:
6. Then, use some clean scissors or kitchen shears and snip the fruit leather in between the toothpicks.
And now you can enjoy it! Store in an air-tight container and you are good to go. They should last quite awhile (as in months), but mine are always gobbled up pretty quick, so I wouldn't know for sure. :)
Have fun and enjoy!