Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fruit leather

Yet another example of our tightwaddery: Fruit Leather
(And yes, I either need better eyes or a better camera)

Okay, I admit it! Last night I cried "Uncle!" and went to bed at 9:30 after *only* decanting four gallons of grape juice into the freezer. I just did not have the energy to go on. Tom said he'd finish up, and he also said he'd use the residual grape pulp to make fruit leather.

If you are the parent of a small-ish child, you know the ubiquity of "fruit snacks," plastic packaged bits of carrageenan and maybe (maybe) 5% REAL fruit juice. I pack my kid's lunch every day, all organic, all home-grown, all whole foods, and yet I can't stop her from snacking on her friend Olivia's "Froot Snacks". But Hah! Revenge is sweet. And so is this grape leather.

Basically, any kind of fruit pulp (ground in a blender) that's dried in the oven overnight will result in leather. Some of the naturally drier/stringier/less sweet fruits like apples or peaches may need a bit of presweetening first to appeal to the young palate; we do add some spices to the apple leather we make. Tom looked at all our food preservation books, but he used the how-to's from this site to make the leather.


frugalmom said...

We love this stuff. I make it as well. I have a dehydrator, but I think I will try the oven next time. Have you seen the organic fruit snacks made by stretch island? They are pretty good.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Wow. I need to try this. Have I ever mentioned that I love my mother to death... but I would have loved it if she had been into all of this stuff, too. (Hard to do with a full-time factory job, but you know what I mean. In a more ideal world.)

El said...

Frugalmom: No, I haven't tried the Stretch Island snacks. (I'm not the shopper in this house thankfully.) I had my daughter cut the leather last night with the tiny shaped cookie cutters we have; they somehow taste better if they've been stamped, she told me.

Kim: Ah, your poor mom! When I was really young, my mom made jam and pickles and the like, and she and my dad made wine a few times. We always went to the u-pick places. But I do remember she was really unusual amongst her peers, and I also remember feeling weird at school because I had homemade jam! So yeah it's funny. I just think all this is fun to do, as it combines my love of cooking with my love of gardening.

meresy_g said...

I don't even have kids and am freaked out by the 'froot' snacks that kids seem to eat constantly. That aisle in the grocery store is just plain scary to me.

Lyn_Soussi said...

Excellent article, some very useful hints. I've been making Fruit Leather for my nine year old for about 6 months now and I've nearly got it right!.. I bought a dehydrator (5 rack) but it seems to take a very long time to dry; upwards of 14 hours! They don;t seem to dry consistently either.. there's always a few 'damp' patches.. I think I might try using the oven for the next batch.. Finding that fruit sauce supplied by the EasyYo home made yogurt people a very good addition to plain apple puree.. My non-fruit eating son is putting away an apple or 2 a day now ;-D
Thanks for the info.
Love from Down Under

Anonymous said...

I used to love this stuff and yours looks exceptionally good.