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Just Peachy Fruit Leather

Posted Oct 15 2009 10:04pm

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When we went apple picking recently, we also came home with a big box of juicy peaches. They were given priority this past week as they quickly became soft. Besides the Peach-Caramel Grunt from the cookbook, Rustic Fruit Desserts (fabtabulous!), I made peach sauce, peach sorbet, and peach smoothies. But one of my favorite projects was peach fruit leather.

I remember my Mom making fruit leather when I was a child. I remember sheets of it sitting out to dry in the summer sun. I also recall the anticipation----it couldn't dry soon enough for me! In fact, I remember becoming impatient and peeling off a bit of the still-soft fruit on the sly.

My memories recall making fruit leather as much more of a project than it is now. Though the process takes a long time, it doesn't require much of your attention, nor is it the hassle I remember from childhood (again, that impatience!). This time, I cooked the fruit over medium-low heat until it was soft, pureed it in the blender, cooled it, and spread it out with an offset spatula over prepared pans. Voila!

Because I was worried about flies and other unsavory and unappetizing critters getting into the fruit leather outside, I skipped the hassle and used my oven on its lowest setting.

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Just Peachy Fruit Leather

10 large Peaches, washed, pitted, and cut in half (I don't peel them)

1/3 C. sugar

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the peaches and the sugar until the peaches are tender (about 45 minutes). Let it cool a bit.

Meanwhile, prepare your pans. On two sheet pans, roll out heavy-duty plastic wrap (my favorite by far is Stretch-tite). Spray with a little oil.

Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until very smooth. With an offset spatula, spread the mixture over the prepared wrap to a thickness of about 1/4" (not too thick, not too thin). Try to spread the peach mixture as evenly as possible to allow for even drying. 

Place the pans in an oven on the lowest setting (preferably below 175 degrees). Rotate the pans after a couple hours. My leather took about six hours to dry thoroughly.

The mixture is enough to make four sheet pans of leather. I stored the remainder of the mixture in the refrigerator while the first batch dried. It's also a scrumptious sauce!

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