Well, I warned you earlier...it's fig season. Figs can be a little scary for some people to incorporate into their cooking. It's easy to serve them sliced and raw on a cheese platter, or chopped in a fruit salad mix. But let's expand our produce enhancement options, shall we?
Fruit leather is a mixture of fruit, lemon, and sugar which is then dehydrated to form an un-chemical loaded, zero red dye, version of a Fruit Roll Up. This entire batch of fruit leather used 1 T of added sugar, far less than the multiple teaspoons per roll of that 'other' kind!
Here's a basic fruit leather recipe that you can use with any type of fruit! Since Virginia summer brought us an abundance of blackberries, I tossed some in with the figs.
- 4 C sliced fruit (I chose figs and blackberries)
- 1 T sugar
- Juice of half of a lemon
First, add your chosen fruit, slicing any larger pieces, into a deep sauce pan. Adjust your settings on the stove to a medium heat.
Add the juice from half of a lemon and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Make sure none of the seeds drop in!
Your mixture should begin to change in color and soften. Notice the liquid at the bottom of the pan and stir the mixture frequently to prevent sticking.
Spray a large sheet pan with baking spray and lay down plastic wrap over the surface. Coat this side with baking spray also.
Using a blender, or stick blender (which we refer to in this house as a 'zzcchuu zcchuu'...as in "Where the heck is the zzcchuu zcchuu!?") to blend the fruit mixture. Your goal is to create a smooth sauce.
Pour the blended fruit into the pan over the plastic wrap. Smooth the mixture to between 1/8th of an inch and 1/4th of an inch thickness. The thicker the mixture, the longer it will take to bake. Put the pan in the oven between 140-160 F, depending on what your oven will allow. This process will take between 5 and 6 hours.
When your fruit leather is done, it will darken and feel dry. It should easily peel from the tray. To store your fruit leather, cut and roll in wax/parchment paper. If your house is on the warmer side, you'll want to store it in the refrigerator. See how thin it is? While I think the seeds add a great interest in texture, you may prefer to strain them before adding to the pan. Make any fruit combination, changes to texture, etc... that fits your preferences.
After all...recipes are more of a guideline anyway!