Four weeks ago at the local farmer’s market, I bought two huge crates of blueberries. You would never convince me to spend $100 on clothes, but the local farmer, Greg, had me in less than 5 minutes, spending over $100 for blueberries. The blueberries were so big, plump and juicy that I couldn’t resist. Greg was right. It was the best week to buy them in bulk.
At home, I spent 3 hours washing, drying and freezing the blueberries. Now I have more than twenty 1-gallon bags of frozen blueberries. They are such treats in summer. We eat them every day, I don’t know if they will last into the fall and winter as I planned.
To be honest though, I have never been the one to freeze anything except tomatoes, but this year, I am trying to freeze more fruits at their peak of season and for the best price. So far, I have frozen blueberries, aprium, and zucchinis. I only wish we had a bigger freezer.
Last weekend, another vendor at the farmer’s market, Emanuel, gave us a bag full of apricots. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she made fruit leather at home. So, I decided to try it with apricot. It is super easy, but requires patience. The recipe online said it took 2-3 hours at 170 degree in the oven to make. Ummm… It took me 7 hours every time I made it, and I made it three times.
They are so good that there is no comparison to the conventional fruit roll ups (yuck!!) They are as good as the ones from Stretch Island that I used to buy from the store. This is also a good cooking project to do with kids. My 6-year-old and 3-year-old helped me in the kitchen.
HOME MADE FRUIT LEATHER
For Apricot Leather, I used about 2 pounds of apricot.
For Berry Leather, I used 2-3 cups of fresh strawberries and 1 cup of frozen blueberries.
1/4 - 1/3 cup of sugar (I would use less sugar for berry leather next time, it came out very sweet)
1-2 table spoon of lemon juice (optional*)
For Apricot Leather, you need to first peel and take out the pits (http://www.ehow.com/how_5933373_peel-apricots.html)
For berries Leather, wash and cut off the green part of strawberries.
Puree the fruits, and lemon juice if you are using it in a blender or food processor.
Pour into saucepan, and stir in sugar. Cook on the stove over low medium heat about 5-10 minutes stirring constantly.
Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and spread into a thin layer (about 1/8 inch thick).
Bake at 170 degree for 3-5 hours (or 7 like I did!), until the center of the leather is tacky but does not stick to your fingers when you touch it.
Let cool down
Slice it with a pizza cutter, knife or kitchen scissors.
Place fruit leather strips on parchment paper, and store in airtight container.
* Lemon Juice: All the recipes I look say to add lemon juice. I did not just because I did not have it. I googled and read that the lemon is to prevent the fruits to become darker. I really did not care the color of the fruits leather, so I simply skipped it.
Sign up to receive updates!