What: spiced pear leather and apple-marion berry fruit leather
Main ingredients and where I got them: Pears were from my parents’ tree, apples were from our friends Stu and Carol, and marion berries came out of the freezer but were originally U-picked at Red Barn Berry Farm.
How much: 6 sheets of pear leather and 9 sheets of apple-marion berry
I wrote in more detail about making fruit leather two weeks ago here.
I cooked up a big batch of pear sauce (like this), but after I food milled it, I put it back on the stove over low heat and threw in a few each of the following whole spices: star anise, allspice, cardamom, and cloves plus half a vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick, and the juice and zest of a meyer lemon. I let the sauce simmer down for a couple hours until it thickened up to a gloppy consistency. As I spread it out on sheets of parchment cut to fit our dehydrator trays, I picked out the whole spices and piled it up about 1/4″ thick around the edges and a little thinner in the middle. After about 24 hours at 135°, it was pliable but dried through.
For the apple-marion berry leather…
I cooked up a big batch of apple sauce (like this). I whizzed small amounts of apple sauce with frozen marion berries and a bit of honey until I had a frothy, well blended puree. I spread it out on sheets of parchment cut to fit our dehydrator trays and dried them at 135° for about 24 hours until pliable but dried through.
Brewing up and drying the spiced pear leather made my world smell SO good. It was worth doing for the aroma alone.
Mixing berries with pear or applesauce stretches out the berry flavor, and it also spreads out the seeds a bit. In the end, the apple-berry leather tastes almost entirely (and deliciously) of berries.
My friend Pamela left a comment on the last fruit leather post that seems worth reposting an excerpt here. “…when I was first researching making fruit leather I came across someone suggesting the ‘hot car method’ – preparing on cookie sheet as if to put in the oven, but instead stick them in your car parked in full sun – thus freeing up your oven for whatever else you might be making. I did that a couple years ago and it worked great, though I think I brought it in and left it in the oven with the light on over night for some additional drying.” This sounds like a pretty resourceful and energy efficient trick to me, though I haven’t tried it yet.
I’m pretty stoked about all the different fruit leathers I’ve been stashing away. We can’t seem to get enough of that stuff.
This is part of a collection of posts documenting my food preservation activities this summer/fall (more info here). Please feel free to comment with a link to food preservation activities on your own blogs or links to recipes you’re following or you’d like to try from other blogs.