Remember when I wrote about buying too much at the farmer’s market? And how roasting is a great way to use all that gorgeous produce that’s now sitting in your kitchen?
Well – I did it again. Except this time with fruit. Specifically, peaches. To me, a peak-of-season peach is one of the most satisfying bites you can ever take. Trouble is, I go into a mild panic around this time of year. Will this be the last “good batch”? Did I buy enough? What if everyone in the house suddenly wants peaches and there won’t be any left? (Clearly it’s been a slow week around here…)
Turns out, it WAS the last good batch, but I bought TOO much and NO ONE wanted peaches. What to do?
Make fruit leather.
Fruit leather is good. Homemade fruit leather is really good. And it’s a treat you can almost feel good about giving to your kids (certainly better than the commercial variety – though sadly, I’ve not figured out a way to make tattoos. Yet.).
And, like sorbet, fruit leather is most forgiving of less-than-perfect produce. Which means that if you (ahem) “overbuy” again – even late into the season – you can still make good use of your bounty.
The technique is similar to the apple-pumpkin version I made last year, and you can wrap them up “roll-up” style or “by-the-foot”.
I’ll get to work on those tattoos…
adapted from Martha Stewart Living
4 c. berries (chopped if using strawberries) or chopped stone fruit*
½ c. sugar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
In a food processor or blender, puree your fruit, sugar and lemon juice.
Cook in a saucepan over medium heat until thick, 20-30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Shake the pan to level.
Bake at 170 degrees until dehydrated, about 3 hours (puree should be just slightly sticky but not dry). Let cool for 10 minutes.
If you lined your baking sheet with parchment you can cut the dried fruit into desired shapes. If you used a Silpat, place a sheet of parchment (cut to the size of your baking sheet) on your work surface. Carefully invert the fruit and Silpat onto the parchment and peel the Silpat away.
Cut into eight rectangles, or about 13 crosswise “strips”. Roll up with the parchment and tie with twine or baker’s string. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month.
*if using peaches, peel the skin first. The easiest way to do this is to cut an “x” into the bottoms. Submerge each peach in boiling water for 30 seconds; remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water. The skins will slip right off.