I love this time of the season!!! When food preservation becomes a passion in trying to can, bottle, dry or any other method we use to preserve as much of nature’s goodness as possible!
I have a peach orchard right now the street from me, and when I can get a huge box of peaches for only $10 my inner horder shows up in full force.
But alas, what to do with all of those peaches before the fruit flies begin to take over my house.
After smoothies, peach cobbler, peach crisp, and a fully stocked freezer……there was only one thing left……FRUIT LEATHER!!
This was my first attempt at fruit leather (with my wonderful Excalibur Dehydrator) and I was a complete success. The hope is always that my kids will enjoy (and thus continue to eat) whatever creations I make in the kitchen. Some are big hits, and others are….well let’s just say less that desirable.
I wasn’t sure how they would react. It seems my teenagers have become pickier (and more skeptical as they have gotten older).
But hold the phone!!!!! They couldn’t keep their hands off the stuff. I made fifteen trays and they have almost gone through it. In fact, my one daughter asked me if she could take the rest of it to school and share it with her friends. There was definitely a part of me that wanted to say, “Oh course dear! I would be so excited for you to share wholesome food with your friends and get them excited about how fantastic nature can be!”…..but instead (and without too much of a pause I instead said, “Heeeecccckkkk No – we are almost out of that stuff!”
So I went and bought another box…..
Peach Fruit Leather
Tools: A large pot for blanching, a food dehydrator, a food processor and hopefully a coop full of chickens to eat all of the skins 🙂
You can do as many or as little as you’d like. There are a few optional add-ins. Lemon juice – to preserve the color, Sugar – if you feel you would like it sweeter, and Citric Acid – to act as a natural preservative. Here’s roughly what I did.
4 cups of peaches, pits and skins removed
1 TBS of lemon juice (I just used the bottle stuff for this)
1 TBS organic sugar
1 TBS citric acid.
Blanch the peaches by submerging them in boiling water for one minute. Then transfer them into a sink of ice cold water.
Gather all your helpers (code for any child with 2 hands) and have them start removing all of the skin.
Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, and throw the peaches into your food processor. Add any of the “add-ins” and puree the peaches in batches (which will depend on how big your food processor is).
Line your dehydrator trays with Non-Stick Teflex sheets or parchment paper (I will say the Teflex sheets worked quite a bit better – the parchment paper left them a little too dry).
Spread the puree on the sheets about 1/4 inch thick.
Dry at 135 degrees for 6-7 hours.
I found that the best way to store them was to rip long sections and simply roll them up and store in a Ziplock bag in the pantry.
Source: WFM 1-10