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.