Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This recipe can be adjusted for any kind of fruit you want to use. Just add the sugar slowly to taste. Dad's tip on drying them in the hot car worked like a gem! That way you won't heat up your house.
8 c blended apricots
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 c sugar or to taste
-Wash apricots, pull apart and take pits out. Put in blender and blend until smooth.
-Pour into bowl and add lemon juice and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
-Prepare pans by covering with plastic wrap. If you use large jelly roll size pans you'll need to use two strips of plastic wrap and overlap them in the middle really good. Leave a little extra hanging off all sides.
-Pour fruit on pan. You want it to be about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. This is a little hard to gauge but use your best judgment. Keep in mind that the thicker it is, the longer it will take to dry, obviously. I kind of move the pan around and shake it on a flat surface to get it nice and even and smooth.
-Now, you can dry this a few different ways. You can use the hot car as I previously mentioned. Just crack your windows and set the pans in but try to make sure they're as level as possible. Also try to use an alternate car if possible when you need to go somewhere. I drove Pierce down to his cousins, just down the road, and we had flying fruit leather. The car method took me about two days to get it completely dry and this was with very hot temperatures. You can also obviously use a food dehydrator if you have one. You can also dry this out in the sun but will need to put screens over it to keep the bugs out. They say this takes 24 hours but I've never tried it. You can also use your oven. Just turn it on a very low temperature like 140 degrees. Let dry in the oven for as long as it takes to get the puree completely dry. It should not be sticky to the touch. This may take 8-12 hours or you can just do it overnight. I've also heard of people tenting it with cheesecloth and drying it in the sun, or putting it in your BBQ with the lid closed in the hot sun.
-One thing you want to be careful of is don't let your plastic wrap fall down on the sides over the puree. It will not dry where the plastic wrap covers it. I know this because this happened to me. If you do it the long way in the car, the puree will start to ferment and mold and you don't want that, believe me. If necessary, tape your plastic wrap up on the sides of your pans to prevent this.
-When leather is ready, roll it up in the plastic wrap. I cut mine in serving size pieces and rolled them up. It really felt like I was cutting a piece of leather! Anyway, you can store these in an airtight container and they can even be frozen!
-4 c fruit yield about one large baking sheet of fruit leather.