I LOVE fruit leathers. I had a friend in high school who called them cow tongues and ever since then I’ve had a little food crush on them. They’re a great snack to bring anywhere and not feel like a total fatty because they’re fruit, right? So I was super excited when I found this recipe for homemade fruit leathers.
I got all the ingredients and a cheese cloth, whatever the hell that is, and set to work. The chopping wasn’t hard and was definitely the most enjoyable/easiest part of the process. Then comes the simmering and blending and never quite knowing if the stuff is done yet. I was doing fine up through now, but then comes the cheese cloth time. I laid out the cheese cloth across the opening of my bowl and tried to anchor the end ends with other kitchen appliances so I didn’t have to hold the cloth the whole time. So I pour the mixture onto the cheese cloth and it just sits there. I thought maybe it needed some time so I boarded up the cat so he wouldn’t get into this sticky mess and went and studied for a few minutes thinking the mixture would figure out how to strain itself. It didn’t… So I started squeezing this scalding hot mess of goop into the bowl underneath the cheese cloth. Finally, 30 minutes later, I thought I had strained enough to fill a pan (which I had, thankfully). Then came the cooking– I cooked these for 6 hours on low and they were still sticky and Ben was annoyed he couldn’t use the oven to make dinner. After a few more hours I finally took them out and was psyched that they actually looked good… until we went to roll them up like the perfect picture in the blog and found that the concoction had totally congealed itself to the wax paper I lined the pan with. So we spent our evening picking the salvageable pieces of fruit leather off of the wax paper. My verdict– NOT worth it.
My advice would be to suck it up and buy these and never attempt to make them but if you’re feeling defiant (I get it, I don’t like people telling me what to do, either) here are some suggestions:
- Learn how to use a cheese cloth (apparently you’re supposed to use it inside a strainer– who knew!)
- Or just don’t use kiwis or anything with seeds and you can just skip the straining all together. I think my real anger towards this recipe comes from the cheese cloth, so perhaps this post should have been called “f*** cheese cloths” but that doesn’t sound as nice
- Use something besides wax paper to line your cookie sheet– this recipe calls for a “silpat” whatever that is so maybe find one of those
- Don’t touch the burning hot fruit/sugar mixture for awhile after it’s done cooking because it’s hot
Good luck on your endeavors if you try this! If you decide to just purchase some– look in the healthy/natural aisle in your grocery (you know where everything is earthy green or brown colored and has funky, relaxed fonts?) And if anyone knows how to clean a cheese cloth let me know.