Monday, February 11, 2013

Fruit Butter Leather


Now that sounds pretty kinky, right? Actually, it's exactly what it sounds like: I turned some fruit butter into fruit leather. I must admit, every time I make fruit butter I am disappointed. I don't think I have the knack. Maybe I'm too impatient? I made a few jars of apple butter this fall, and seeing as how no one in my house really loves it, I decided it would be a smart idea to spread it on my dehydrating tray and turn it into leather. I used about 1.5 cups, and mixed in a tablespoonful of apricot jam to tart it up a little. It was delicious!

I've become a new devotee of fruit leather this winter. I only just bought a dehydrator last year, and it really helps. I used to use my oven, and it was never worth the time and attention I paid it. Now, I just spread some puree and leave it alone for hours. That's my kind of cooking! My only gripe is that I have a round dehydrator, and one of those square ones would be so much neater. But I bought my dehydrator at a thrift shop for $15, so I'm not complaining. I will say, that fruit butter leather is a tad sweeter than the kind I was making for Sugar-Free January. But not by very much. My fruit butter is always low in sugar.

And just as a little aside, have you had one of these? Ugli fruit or Uniq fruit, or a Jamaican tangelo, is a cross between a tangerine, orange and a grapefruit. I've seen them in supermarkets for years (does anyone buy them?), and I finally broke down and bought one. It was good--maybe not as good as it could have been. It wasn't ripe, I later found out, first off, they should be mostly yellow-orange. Knowing how far this fruit traveled, I know it must be a special fruit on the tree, and just a pale comparison to it's native self. Poor thing. But still, they are worth a try. They are grapefruit-sized, with no seeds, and the juiciest thing I've ever had.


8 comments:

  1. your picture taking gets better all the time. the fruit close-up, the leather shot... simply beautiful.
    thank you, great stuff,
    m

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    1. You're too kind, Michael, but I'll graciously accept your compliments nonetheless!

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  2. For all of the amazing fruits I can't get in my area, ugli fruits are typically available. I had my first one decades ago when my mom saw it at the grocery. She didn't want to try it but bought it for me to be the guinea pig. She wanted it back after I told her how good it was!

    I know it's silly, but my round dehydrator is why I haven't ever made fruit leather. It's one of my small, pointless "arguments" with my husband as to why I need an Excalibur.

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    1. Yes, I love those big square drawers on the Excalibur. Oh, well! And isn't amazing Ugli fruits are everywhere in supermarkets? So strange.

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  3. 1. I have the round Nesco dehydrator and often make a tray of leather from some canned applesauce if I have a free tray while drying something. I just peel off the leather doughnut and cut it into slices with a pizza wheel so they're almost a rectangle, can't say the shape ever bothered anyone :)

    2. I actually just tried an Ugli for the first time on Sunday. Mine was mostly yellow. I threw most of it out - I like oranges and grapefruit, but this just tasted weird to me, like a not-so-good orange and then a lingering aftertaste of grapefruit. I think if I had halved it and eaten it with a touch of sugar like a grapefruit it would have been fine - except for costing 2 to 3 times as much as a grapefruit. The juiciness was indeed ridiculous, I bit into a segment and it sprayed everywhere.

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    1. Hi Dana!

      1. Do you lightly oil your tray? I've never been able to get the leather to come free in one piece. My little bits of shrapnel don't bother anyone, but they are a pain to roll up to store.

      2. The juiciness is very surprising. It's crazy!

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    2. Oiling is a must. Put a little drizzle of vegetable oil on the tray and rub it all over the top with a paper towel or cloth, make sure you get everywhere (I keep tilting it to catch the light at different angles to make sure I covered everywhere - it will stick anywhere without a sheen of oil), just add a little more if needed, as long as you don't have too much on there you won't taste it or feel it on the leather. If you have the Nesco with the fruit leather trays, make sure you get around the outer and inner rims, it likes to get thinner there and dry out more and stick. Good luck :)

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    3. Aha! I feel just a little silly. I think this will be muuuch better. ; )

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