Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Homemade Fruit Leather

Yesterday, I talked about Homemade vs. Store Bought food... and I mentioned that over my weekend last week I had dabbled in some cooking experiments.  One of those experiments was making my own Fruit Leather.

It's nothing new, but the idea to make my own popped in my head about a week ago when I bought some pre-made fruit leather from the produce section of my grocery store.  I downed the strawberry sweetness, practically licking it off the plastic.

And then the next day I went back and bought two more, gobbling them both up equally as fast!  So when I came across an easy recipe I had pinned... I knew I had to try it.

Original recipe from "Love U Madly"

All you need is your favorite fruit, a cookie sheet and some parchment paper and about 5 hours.  (Yep, that's the one drawback of this recipe)

Basically you take your fruit of choice...
Cook it on the stove until it turns in to mushy berry juice...
Puree the juice in a food processor...
Spread it out on a greased piece of parchment paper spread out on a cookie sheet...
And bake it a 140-170 degrees (however low your oven goes) until the fruit is no longer sticky to the touch.

The only problem I had with this recipe is that it never told me exactly how much fruit to use.  I don't know about you, but I'm not much of a maverick in the kitchen.  I like to be told what to do and how to do it.... that way everything turns out perfectly.

My first batch of fruit leather was more like fruit paper... too thin. And no, I didn't take a picture of my failure :)

I used one of those double packages of strawberries and 3 bananas, which I spread on two cookie sheets.  The recipe does say that one batch of fruit will fit on one baking sheet, but since the author never told me how much fruit to use I got nervous when I saw how much my choice of fruit made...


So, I tried it again.  Using the double pack of strawberries and 3 bananas (all chopped) with a handful of left over frozen berries in my freezer I managed to get it right this time.

One tip from me to you:  make sure you spread the fruit as evenly as possible on the baking sheet... otherwise parts of it will be crunchy and parts of it will be too soft, but not inedible.

Also, it does actually take 5 hours.  You're basically dehydrating the fruit... so it takes some time.  Don't make this recipe the first thing you do on a day you're doing a lot of cooking... like I did :)

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