I found this really cool recipe for homemade fruit leather in last week’s Orlando Sentinel in the “Relish” insert. It’s a good way to preserve ripe fruit, or if you’re like us, it’ a good way to save food (and money) when you buy more than you can eat before it goes bad. My grandkids love fruit roll-ups, so I thought I would try this recipe. It looks like something I could stash in my bag when I’m traveling.
The original recipe is Meredith Steele’s, and it can be found on her blog “In Sock Monkey Slippers“. She uses organic blackberries and fresh mint leaves in the recipe, and reduces the sugar by substituting honey. The homemade fruit leather has more fiber and vitamin C and less sugar and additives than the store-bought counterparts do.
I couldn’t find fresh blackberries this weekend, but I did pick up plump, ripe raspberries, overly large, too, and a couple of quarts of fresh strawberries. I didn’t use the fresh mint leaves, although I have a beautiful mint plant on the back porch. I’m saving those for Mojitos later this week. I did have a pint of Webb’s—local honey sold on highway 520 in East Orange County. The leather is easy to make. Purée all of the ingredients, then pour it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The leather slow dries for about 6 hours in a low-temp oven, and it smells delish.
Turns out we ate most of it before I could get it packed into one of my Ball jars (my preferred method of storage for just about anything). I have a couple of quarts of strawberries and peaches that smell fresh and ripe. Perhaps I’ll give those a try tomorrow.
- 3 cups raspberries or blackberries
- ¼ cup mint leaves (optional)
- ¼ cup honey
- Finely grated rind of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 170ºF.
- Place fruit, mint leaves, honey, lime rind and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. (If you're not a fan of seeds, strain the purée as beast as you can.)
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour purée onto paper and spread thickly and evenly with a spatula. Bake 6 hours, or until no longer wet.
- With scissors, cut paper in half. Roll halves into a cigar shape. Cut rolls into 2-inch segments and serve. Store in an airtight container. Makes 12 (2 x 6-inch) strips; serves 12.