I love dried fruit and fruit leather. They have the flavor of fresh fruit, bumped up a notch, making them richer, sweeter, and more intense. I especially like homemade fruit leather.
When I was a girl, one of my best friend’s family had a huge cherry tree in their yard. Every year, they made cherry leather, and I feel bad for all of you who didn’t get to eat it. It was amazing.
Then, about a zillion years ago, when I was a young mother, I had the opportunity to buy some of the best fresh peaches I’ve ever eaten. We got 3 boxes of them, and as delicious as the were, we couldn’t use them all before they were going to spoil. So I made peach leather. I was making so much of it, that I didn’t have enough space in my oven. It was early September, in Las Vegas, so as you may know, it was HOT. I put all the sheets of pureed peaches in my car for a few days. That was the BEST peach leather, and an added benefit was that my car smelled wonderful for days. Haha. It was great, but I’m not sure I would do it again. First because I use my car every day, and second because I’d have no control over the temperature. …
Anyway, for the past few weeks, we’ve been up to our eyeballs in apricots. It’s been a dream-come-true for the experimental chef in me. We’ve made apricot desserts, jam, and nectar. I’ve created new recipes. (Some have been yummy, and some still need work.) My point is, we’ve been eating a lot of apricots, and we’ve had about enough. But …. we still have more apricots … and they’re getting old. So guess what comes next. I’M MAKING APRICOT LEATHER, but not in my car.
- 2 ½ cups fresh pitted apricots (approximately 20 ounces or 30 golf-ball sized apricots)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees (or as low as it will go) with rack in center, and cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap.
- Place apricots in the blender; add honey and sugar. Process until mixture is very smooth and easily spreadable.
- Pour puree onto the prepared baking sheet; spread in a thin, even layer. I do this by gently jiggling the pan.
- Let dry in heated oven until mixture is firm but slightly tacky, about 12 hours or overnight. Remove from oven; let cool.
- Peel fruit leather from plastic wrap, and cut strips using a pizza cutter. Roll tightly into cylinders, and enjoy whenever you want them.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
White Apron Blog http://whiteapronblog.com/
Preheat oven to 170 degrees F. or as low as it goes.
Line a baking sheet with plastic film. Make sure that it’s the kind that’s microwave safe. It’s not going in the microwave, but it will be in the oven. Trust me, it’ll be fine.
Wash, dry, and pit your apricots.
2 1/2 cups apricots
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey into a blender.
Puree until very smooth.
Pour into plastic-lined sheet, and spread evenly. I do this by jiggling the pan back and forth. It’s important that you make the thickness as even as possible across the entire sheet.
Place in the 170 degree oven, as close to the center, as possible. Leave it there to dry for between 10 and 24 hours. Check frequently. It’s done when it’s dry, but still a little tacky. If any residue sticks to your finger, it’s not ready.
You can dry multiple sheets at a time. I have two oven racks. I space them in the center of the oven. Then I put cooling racks on top of my sheets, to allow me to stack another sheet on top of each. Place the racks with the legs up to create more space for the warm air to circulate between sheets. Keep in mind that more sheets will add a little to the drying time.
When it’s done, it should look like this. You can see why it’s called apricot LEATHER.
Pull up on the plastic, and use it to lift the leather off the baking sheet.
Invert it onto a sheet of parchment paper.
Then carefully peel the plastic off. If it’s really stuck, the apricot leather may need more drying time.
Let it rest for about 20 minutes without any plastic on it.
Use a pizza cutter to slice it into desired serving sizes. I made 8 (6 x 4 inch) fruit rolls per pan.
Cut pieces of plastic film that are about an inch and a half wider and 4 inches longer than your leather pieces.
Then place the leather about 1 inch from the bottom edge of the plastic, centered between the two sides. Make sure there’s at least 3 inches of plastic at the top.
Fold the bottom plastic up, and fold over each side. Then begin rolling from the bottom to the top.
Keep it tight as you go.
Use the extra length of plastic at the top to continue rolling up, and seal it closed.
There you go.
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge.