My friend Lupine gave me some super-ripe shiro plums and orchard peaches from her house up on Lopez. She made this amazing plum fruit leather yesterday, so I figured I'd try a peach plum variety.
So here's the thing about dehydrating - you really do need to invest in a dehydrator. Lupine has a convection setting on her oven, so blowing low heat around seemed to work pretty well. My oven, on the other hand, won't go lower than 170 and has no way to circulate air. It *sort of* worked, but the fruit really cooked more than dried. It got a little crunchy and I had to RE-hydrate the sheets a bit before I cut them.
Don't get me wrong, they taste delicious. But I think I'll look into buying a food dehydrator for future attempts..
Homemade fruit leathers:
- Chop up very ripe fruit of your choosing - peaches, plums, apricots, raspberries - whatever sounds good! I probably used about 1.5 pounds for 2 baking sheets worth. (Note: I removed the skins of the fruit because it was easy to do since they were so ripe and I don't really like the tartness of plum skins (I know, I know. That's the whole point of plums...) You could also leave skins on - either way works).
- Cook it down in a wide pan to help remove a bit of the water (15-20 min maybe)
- Pour it into a blender and puree to a pulp - return to pan
- Add sweetener if you think it needs it - I added about 1 T of honey to mine since the peaches were already super sweet.
- Some people add lemon juice to help keep the color in the final product.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and pour the puree evenly onto 2 pans (1/8-1/4" thick)
- Put in your dehydrator (If you have one. If you don't - go buy one - see above) or oven at 140 degrees. I used my oven at 170 degrees and kept the door propped open to let air circulate. It will take a while - 8-12 hours. I put mine in the oven and turned it on, then turned it off, then turned it back on a few hours later since I didn't want it to be too hot.
- Roll up, cut, eat!