I have never professed to be a good cook... not even an ok cook (stop snickering Chip & dad!). When I came across a recipe to make fruit leather though, I thought, "Gee, I could do that and save quite a bit while making my kids a healthy snack." What was I thinking? Read on to find out what not to do...

It started out simply enough. I came across this recipe which requires only fresh fruit, lemon juice and honey. I had all three! Amazing isn't it?! Anyway, the kids helped me puree it all together. We used blueberries. Perhaps this was my first mistake? I think the blueberries were perhaps juicier than the apricots in the original recipe which made drying take much longer.

Marie used her mother's drying racks but since I didn't have any, I used my baking racks. I figured it would let air circulate on the top and bottom so it should work. Mistake #2! Anyone know where you can buy fruit drying racks?

After putting the mixture on the plastic wrap, I prepared to cover the top with another layer of plastic wrap. Guess what? We were out. Luckily we had some press and seal which worked pretty well (Mistake #3 or Good Idea #1???). The press and seal kept the bugs and goo out very well. But it may have been too thick for the fruit leather to dry properly.

After laying it all out, I put it outside on the table. For 4 days it sat out there, getting pulled inside only when weather threatened. It just wasn't drying. Instead it was leaking out the sides (here's mistake #2 - the drying racks used in the original recipe had sides. My racks had no sides to help hold any juices in.) Each day there would be a lovely blue/purple trail of stick across the table. Last night, when I went to check on it, there were hundreds of ants enjoying their purple, sticky buffet. They had not managed to infiltrate the leathers, thankfully. I brought them in and checked them out. They were looking a bit dry but still needed to firm up.

I, being the genius that I am, figured I'd let the oven do the rest of the drying (Mistake #4). Yeah, plastic wrap and 200 degree temps don't mix well. Here's what happened.

My hubby and I had a few small pieces of fruit leather that didn't get scorched or mixed with melted plastic. It wasn't too bad actually. Maybe we'll try it again with a different fruit and better drying racks and maybe hotter days?!?!
3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    That sure looks "not nice" at all.
    This whole things seems like quite an adventure in goo. Try to oven next?!?
    Suz, the print size could be larger.

  2. Mommasaurus Says:

    Hmmmmmmmmm. Could this mess have something to do with the fact that plastic wrap and the press 'n' seal stuff protect things from drying out??? I made "fruit roll-ups" for you and Bud when you were growing up. They weren't perfect, but they WERE edible!! Well, after checking the recipe (pg. 33 of the sixth edition [1975] of Feed Me, I'm Yours), I guess you should disregard my first sentence - AND, your goo should have become wonderful fruit roll-ups!

  3. Sara Says:

    I can't imagine what could have gone wrong (except for the oven part). I saw the recipe when clicking through your sidebar links and I was enticed too, but this makes me less sure about trying this without some more research! Maybe it was the honey? Maybe it's less likely to harden than sugar? Hmmm... A mystery.

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