Sunday, August 3, 2008

Homemade Apricot Fruit Leather

I stumbled across a recipe for fruit leather on Foodie Fashionista a couple of weeks ago. It seemed like an interesting opportunity to create some fruit roll-up flavors I never had as a kid. Watermelon-lime? Blueberry lemon? Honeydew? I spent a few fun moments imaging the possibilities, and then moved on to other things.

I remembered the recipe for fruit leather this weekend. Not only did I have some overripe apricots on hand, but fruit leather seemed like a good thing to take along on a weekend hike.

The recipe is very simple, although a little heat-intensive for a hot summer day. I started by pitting (but not peeling) the apricots, and then pureeing them with a tablespoon of agave nectar. The puree then went into a sauce pan to simmer, covered, over medium low heat for about an hour. This heated up the kitchen a bit, but luckily I only needed to stand over the pot and stir the puree at the very end. Finally, the cooked-down puree was spread over parchment paper and placed in the oven to bake at 200 degrees for two hours, then placed on a rack to cool.

In all, the process took about three and a half hours, although the actual hands-on time was about 20 minutes. While the cooking and baking time may seem excessive, other recipes that I found on-line called for the fruit leather to be baked (without pre-cooking) for eight hours. Dori's method really streamlines the process.

While not one of the exotic flavors that I initially imagined, the apricot fruit leather was really good, and nice to have along on my hike. I also liked that I got to control the amount of sweetener that went into the fruit leather. However, I'm not sure that this is the most efficient use of fruit: two cups of puree yielded only 2-3 servings of fruit leather. For that reason, I will likely only use the recipe again if I have overripe fruit, or if I'll be doing something where it will be hard to transport fresh fruit.


Kitt said...

What a handy idea! Sometimes you do have a bunch of fruit that needs to be used up. Think of it as concentrated goodness rather than small yield. Like that ricotta I've been making. The milk would go to waste otherwise.

vb said...

Yummy! I love fruit leather. I should try this too. But my dehydrator is old with many quirks. Perhaps I'll try anyway. You're right, the flavor combinations one could create!

Beatrice said...

I like the "concentrated goodness" theory, Kitt.

VB, you technically do not need a dehydrator to make the fruit leather using this method. (I don't have a dehydrator, just an oven and stove top.)


Michelle said...

i just made some fruit leather for the first time myself actually, using a dehydrator. I'd been juicing and had a bucket of pulp from the juicer I didn't want to waste, so with a little water I pureed and then dehydrated. Pretty neat snack!