Adventures in fruit leather

So I’m a bit behind (as per usual) on all kinds of things.. but mostly on my postings about the From Scratch Club book club.  This time around we are cooking our way through Put ’em Up! Fruitby Sherri Vinton.  I already had Put ’em Up!
and I enjoyed a lot of the recipes but what is nifty about this one is the additional recipes to USE the stuff you make.

I don’t know about you all, but I have shelves of jam… sitting. I don’t eat toast… why am I making so much damn jam?

Because it’s fun and I like it and I obviously have a problem.

The first recipe I made from the book was the Ancho Cherry Jam (yes, more jam.. I SAID I HAVE A PROBLEM). But the ancho jam is less sweet so I made it and the corresponding recipe for pork tacos (which I was skeptical about because of the amount of red wine .. but we enjoyed them quite a bit!).

I also made the Cherry Mostarda and brought a jar over to my favorite Cheesemonger and he hooked me up with some goat cheese to pair with it.

Yeah, I have pictures of all of these somewhere. just trust me.. they are worth the effort. But what I was looking forward to was the raspberry/blackberry section because I wanted an excuse to make fruit leather. I ordered the Fruit Roll-Up Sheets from Amazon in anticipation.Mixed Berries

One thing I wanted to try was to make the mixed berry fruit leather without sugar. Berries can be tart so I swapped the apples in the recipe for pears which I find to be sweeter.
I put everything in a big pot as instructed and cooked it down with a bit of water. After I had a fine mess of mush, I ran it all through my food mill attachment for my kitchenaid mixer twice. Everything looked a bit thin so I put it back on the stove and reduced it down.. I did end up having to add a bit of honey as things were still a bit tart.

I poured everything into two fruit trays and set the dehydrator.. I got around to all of this by um..about 4Pm but I figured 6 hours should be long enough. IMG_20130721_192249

I was wrong.

I was very wrong.

By midnight, I seriously needed to go to bed because of course it was Sunday and of course I had to go to work the next day. So, I did the sensible thing** and put the fruit trays in the fridge and went to bed.

I popped them back on the dehydrator after work and the gym the next night thinking that 4 more hours would do it.. but it didn’t. So I did the sensible thing** and wrapped the trays in plastic and stuck them in the freezer.

The next Friday night, I took them out of the freezer and popped them in the fridge overnight to thaw. Saturday morning, I put them back on the dehydrator and finished them up in another 6 hours.

Fruit leather
Fruit leather

** there was this one time I gave my self food poisoning because I left dehydrating watermelon out overnight with the dehydrator off. It’s a long story.. let’s just say that it was a dumb dumb dumb thing and I have never forgotten it. I had to take a day off of work, I made myself SO SICK. I had this lame idea that I could just turn it back on in the morning and finish dehydrating and it would be fine. It wasn’t.

I’m happy to report that this wonderful batch of fruit leather, not only did NOT give me food poisoning, it was delicious!

I cut this into wedges and rolled it up in parchment paper.  I totally cannot stop eating it.  So fantastic!

For the record, I’m sure this would not have taken this long if I had just left it alone on the dehydrator.  But it’s good to know that it suffered no ill effects from being in and out of the cold.

For my next trick, I raided my freezer and my preserves from last year and currently, as I typed this, I have a new batch of fruit leather in the dehydrator.   Hopefully, it will be just as tasty as it’s a very unusual combination. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you already know what I’m up to!

PS: This post is peppered with affiliate links: deets over here at the Low Down