Sunday, March 24, 2013

Adventures in Leather... Fruit Leather

Golden Mangoes were on sale the other day, so I bought a few to use in making my first fruit leathers. I have never tried this before, not even when I had the other machine. The concept is very simple: Blend fruit, strain fruit, pour fruit and dehydrate fruit. Ah, there are tricks though, and my one major piece of advice is to try making these in very small batches first, until you get the hang of it. Fortunately, I only made enough for two leathers. 

First, I peeled, pitted and chopped nicely ripe mangoes. I like them to be really sweet so that the leather is almost candy like, but without added sugar.
After preparing I just threw them in the blender with a little water until smooth. Mangoes blend beautifully! 
pureed mango

Then came the straining to remove any fiberous materials or lumps

push it all through completelypush through a fine sieve

Next, it gets poured onto the fruit roll up tray that goes with my dehydrator. If you do not have one, wax paper or plastic wrap is supposed to work. My trays are BPA free though, I can not say the same for the wrap with any surety and wax paper will melt a bit in the warmth. 

pour onto leather sheet

Spread out on the tray, making it a little thicker around the outside edge. I spread it evenly this time and the edges dried out much faster than the rest of the leather.

spread out

Let dehydrate at 135 for a few hours. Check it occasionally

dry at 135F

Once the leather has set up, gently flip it so that it dries evenly. I am going to use cooking spray on the sheet next time though, unless I can come up with a better alternative as they are sticky, even on the special sheets. This one came out pretty good, the next one was too dry.

flip overnice and set up

 The problem I ran in to was that there was a teeny spot that took forever to dried, so the rest cracked and got a little too dry, as this next picture shows. Once dried and cool (it is very important to cool thoroughly), lay it on plastic wrap and roll it up.
quite cracked and a little too dryroll in plastic wrap


all done!

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