25 July 2008

Adventures in Fruit Leather

After a failed attempt at making prunes over a week ago, it took a while for me to build up enough gumption to try and make fruit leather from what is left of the plum harvest from our tree this year.

Yesterday, I looked at the basket and two bowls of plums on the kitchen table and realized that if I didn't do something with them, they would go bad (I've had my fill of fresh plums this season).

So, as I approach many of my "projects", I had to dive right in while I still felt the nerve and drive to do it. I knew if I waited, that the mood would pass, and I'd still have the same basket and two bowls of plums as well as a nagging thought that I'd chickened out.

Following the instructions that came with our Nesco dehydrator, I pureed the pitted plums (skins and all) in the blender until smooth. I sweetened the mixture to taste with corn syrup (apparently granulated sugar will make it brittle). Then I poured the mixture on the one plastic tray for making fruit leather that came with the unit. I had quite a bit of mixture left over in the blender and didn't want to do only one trayful, so I used another tier of the dehydrator as a template and cut out a "tray" out of parchment paper (I was feeling adventurous).

The dehydration took a little longer than expected (probably because my mixture was poured out a little too deep), but the result is exactly what I wanted! Believe it or not, the parchment paper tray was done in far less time. I liked the result better too.

I've now successfully produced my favorite flavor of fruit leather--plum! Now I am much more confident with the process and plan on turning the rest of the plums into fruit leather as well.

And as an endnote... I thought of my friend Emiline over at Visions of Sugar Plum the entire time I did this as well as when I was taking the photos. So, Emiline, this plummy post is dedicated to you!

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