Friday, July 9, 2010

Return of the Fruit Leather

Can't help it we love it so much.  It's quite an involved project, but so worth the effort.  I do it once a year, so it doesn't seem like such a chore.  If you click on above link it will take you to last years post with all the directions on how I make fruit leather.  This year is not much different.  I did decide last year it was easier to remove all the wild Sierra yellow plum seeds before putting pulp in food mill was easier.  They are the size of cherries, so it took me about an hour.  I did find out pretty close to the time I was done a technique that worked well.  If I took about 2 or 3 plums and squeezed them tightly the pulp would squeeze out the cracks of my fingers and the seeds and skin would stay in my palm.  That worked great, but I was nearly done by the time I figured that out.  Anymore than 2 or 3 plums and the seeds would squeeze out too.  Next year I'm hoping to remember this technique. LOL

This year I had some leftover Rough and Ready sour cherry pulp from my 2 batches of jam.  I decided that I'd save it for making cherry fruit leathers.  After cooking it down for a while it was still too watery for leathers.  I decided that I'd mix some plum pulp with the cherry to thicken it up.  That worked out great.
This year we'll have 2 1/2 cherry/plum leathers and 4 1/2 plum leathers.  This will make 21 servings.  Last year I didn't think 18 servings was going to be enough, but they made it through the whole summer.  In fact one got pushed to the back of the fridge and my daughter found it the end of September.  She said it was dried out like chewy gummy candy and was still fantastic.
This is a peak into my Excalibur food dehydrator.  A dark door goes on the front to hold the heat in.  I've had it about 15 years.  It's still going strong.  Most of the year we make beef jerky, but summer it's fruit leathers.

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