Preserving fruit for later may not save you much money (in season fruit is usually cheaper) but it is a lot of fun. There are many different methods for preserving fruit other than freezing or making jam. Here I explain how to make fruit leather.
I wanted to have a look at some of the different methods available for preserving fruit and try them out. So I Googled fruit preservation. I keep getting the suggestions of canning, dehydrating (or salting), pickling and freezing .
The first thing I decided to try was fruit leather. This is involves making fruit mush, boiling it down with water and honey before then allowing it to dry out at a very low temperature (about 50 degrees) in the oven. This can then be stored in an air-tight box for months (there has been suggestion of years). I got the recipe for this from: http://www.self-sufficient.co.uk/Make-Fruit-Leather.htm . My experience of having a go was fun. I cooked pears with cinnamon and honey before using my hand held processor to create a smooth mush. Unfortunately, I got halfway through the recipe before realising that we had run out of cling-film (obviously I should have learnt by now to check stock before I begin a recipe). It was an early closing day and the shops had already all shut but I had a pan of fruit puree ready to dehydrate. Instead of lining my baking tray I just poured it straight on and anxiously hoped for the best.
I placed this in the oven at 50 degrees with the door shut then waited. Checking every few hours to see what was happening.
Eventually, about eight hours later, the leather had dried out. It smelt wonderful and I had to resist the urge to eat it then and there. I scraped it off the tray using a metal spatula and folded it up so it would fit in a box. It is now stored in the fridge.
I have had a few pieces and it is amazing. It is great to take out to munch on when busy, I just stick a bit in a food bag.
- Some Creative Ways to Use a Food Dehydrator (livingsunfoods1.wordpress.com)
- Apple & Banana Fruit Leather (thefinishedplate.wordpress.com)
- Adventures in fruit leather (caroline512.wordpress.com)
- Apple Fruit Leather (jacobson2008.wordpress.com)