Thursday, September 17, 2015

Peach Fruit Leather

Since Peach season is almost at the end, I have been all Peached out. But we are still getting them, 

My kids are pretty much Peached Out! - So I have decided to work on preserving them so in two weeks, when they are wanting peaches, I have something to offer. 

This is the EASIEST process imaginable - don't be intimidated by it. 

4 ripe peaches (skin on)
1 tablespoon honey


Preheat oven to 225 F degrees.* (See Oven Tips Below)

Wash thoroughly and remove pits from peaches.

Place the peaches and honey in a blender and puree until smooth.

Line a Jelly Roll Pan (the cookie sheets with the edges) with a sheet of parchment paper (not waxed paper). I spend a little bit of extra time folding the edges so they fit the pan - It makes me feel like it is easier to pour in the puree and get an eve layer if the paper fits the pan. (that is probably just me being strange) 

Pour the mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread with the back of a spoon or spatula in a large rectangle (my rectangle was 11 x 15 inches)

 making sure that the thickness is completely even.

Bake for 3-4 hours or until dry and not sticky to the touch. Remember, cooking times will vary depending on how thick you spread your mixture and how much water (juice) is naturally in the fruit.**

Set aside and cool at room temperature; it takes several hours for the fruit to soften up. Note that when you first take the fruit leather out of the oven, the edges will be a bit dry and crispy, but if you allow it to sit out for several hours it softens up nicely.

Cut with a knife, pizza cutter or scissors into strips, keeping the paper on if desired, then roll the leather into “roll ups”.

** Every oven is different, so the cooking time maybe less than 2 hours if your oven tends to run hot.

I made a few batches of this as I tested it out - I cooked it for a few hours the first time and then tested it with my finger tip to see if it was still "sticky" - OUCH! Fruit sugar is HOT and will stick to your finger tip and burn you.

I left it in much longer (like another 2 hours) and it came out on the crispy side. (like I could break it into pieces = crispy) But I told the kids that I made Peach Chips and they ate them completely up, declared them delicious, and said we should make them again. 

The next batch that I made, I cooked it for two hours, and then tested it again, with a piece of parchment paper folded up - it was really pretty sticky still, so I cooked it a little longer, checking every 30 minutes. 

When I took it out, I trusted in the Cooling Process to let the moisture that was left settle and the sugars to cool and set-up. 

Then I covered the top with plastic wrap and flipped it out onto a cutting board and covered the other side with plastic wrap.  

Then I cut it into pieces. 

My kids are used to eating Fruit Leather wrapped that way - and not the Roll-Up kind.  If you want to roll yours up - just put it on a fresh piece of parchment paper and cut it into strips and roll it up. You'll probably have to secure it with some bakers twine if you roll all the way to the end of the paper, or you could let it stick to itself. 

Try this process a few times and don't be afraid if it doesn't turn out just as you think it should. Guessing how much moisture is in fruit is Hard! And it will take some trial and error until you learn to see what each step is supposed to look like.  

I made this a few times and they All were learning experiences - but Nothing that I ended up with was too yucky to eat - in fact, It was fun to taste all the different textures. 

I believe this recipe will work with almost any Stone Fruit - Plums, Nectarines.. etc...