Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All dried up

I've noticed a few online giveaways lately where the lucky winner can recieve a brand new, fancy schmancy Excalibur Dehydrator. My dehydrator is not fancy or new. In fact, it's probably as old as I am since I inherited it from my grandmother. It has two settings; on and off. But it still works, especially when the weather is not humid and/or foggy all day. My favorite thing to make with my dehydrator is fruit leather. Fruit leather is probably the easiest way to preserve fruit. Just puree some yummy fruit, (peeled if necessary) add sweetener - I like honey- and in about a day you have fruit leather! No boiling water, steaming jars or watching pots. This picture is actually some cherries I brought home last year and froze. Freezing pureed raw fruit works great, and is useful if you are inundated with ripe fruit and need to do something with it quickly before the fruit flies overwhelm your kitchen. Today I made a peach-raspberry puree. About 8 cups of pureed fruit and a little less than one cup honey. I like using honey because it's already liquid and does not crystallize in the fruit leather like sugar does. However, the honey fruit leather does tend to be more sticky. Remember when sweetening your fruit that the flavors will condense when drying. Make it a little less sweet than you think it should be. After 12-24 hours-ish, the fruit leather should peel up easily off the fruit leather trays. IF you have sprayed your trays with a cooking oil spray. Be nice to yourself and remember to do this. My dehydrator has little clear rectangular trays that fit on top of the regular trays. Put the leather on sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and fold or roll up. Store in an airtight container on the shelf or in the refrigerator if you like. It won't last long. Oh, and if you have a little extra puree that won't fit on your dehydrating trays, use it as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, waffles...or just use a spoon. Real Food Wednesdays


Maxmomma said...

Oh this brings back memories of my mom and her dehydrator! I love that you are doing this... and thanks for the honey tip- we had always used sugar.

chanelle said...

jealous again!! I use my oven to dehydrate!