I’ve recently be playing around with dehydrating as a form of preserving food, and making tasty treats thanks to my new dehydrator from Chef Talk. You can find the review of that dehydrator here Nesco FD-1018 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator In the past, dehydrating hasn’t held a lot of allure for me, but I am the curious sort (for both better and for worse) and am always looking to try new things and experiment with new, at least to me, techniques.
Of course, one of the first things I’ve tried is fruit leather (beef jerky will be this weekend) as I have always loved those fruit roll ups. I wanted something a little more sophisticated, flavor wise and remembered the numerous bags of cranberries that were sitting in our freezer. Cranberries alone weren’t going to make a good fruit leather so I decided to pair them with apple, a classic paring and to spike it with just a hint of cinnamon. The resulting leather reminded me of those classic fruit roll ups but with a more complex, less overly sweetened flavor that adults would enjoy.
Apple Cranberry Leather
1 pound cranberries, fresh or frozen
4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (choose apples that are both good baking and eating apples, I chose Braeburn this time)
Apple juice, or cider
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Puree the cranberries, in a blender, until smooth, adding just enough apple juice to get the cranberries blending. Repeat this process with the apples, again using just enough juice to get the puree started. You want it to be thick enough still that you will need to stop the blender occasionally and push the contents down. Combine the cranberry and apple purees, stirring to combine. Add the cinnamon and just enough corn syrup to sweeten the puree to your liking. Use corn syrup as opposed to sugar as sugar tends to recrystallize making the fruit leather brittle. Flow the manufactures suggestions for making fruit leather in your dehydrator, making sure that the puree is no more than 1/4-3/8″ thick. Do yourself a favor and lightly oil the tray you make the leather on. It will help in removal when done. Dry at 130F for approximately 6-9 hours. The length will depend on a lot of variables including humidity, ambient room temperature, how much juice you added, etc. The leather is done when it is still pliable, but no longer tacky to the touch. Remove trays from dehydrator and allow to cool slightly. Remove fruit leather from trays and roll in plastic wrap.