Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sand Plum Fruit Leather

As you have seen already, I have a lot of plum juice.  4 gallons right now to be exact.  That leaves a lot of pulp behind.  Since sand plums are so tart, I wouldn't advise just using the pulp.  I have used honey and raw sugar both.  I would guess that you could use stevia or any other sweetener that you like.

My dehydrator didn't come with a fruit leather insert and the oven is not a good option in this July heat, so I needed an alternative.  Butter bowl lids!  Actually, I used the lids that came with my Pyrex custard cups, but any similar lid will work.

Sand Plum Fruit Leather

4 cups sand plum pulp
1 cup honey or sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)

Stir together and dehydrate in oven or dehydrator. (I once again assume that you know how to do this part.)  Dehydrate until fully dry.  This usually takes about 24 hours in my dehydrator.  They are stickier than most fruit leathers.  I'm guessing the sugar is why.  We like both the honey and  the sugar recipes.

These are still fairly tart, so feel free to add more sweetener.  We are looking forward to taking these hiking, provided they aren't all one before that!

For every pound of sand plum you have add 3/4 cup of water to make the juice.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook about 20 minutes.
Keep an eye on it while bringing to a boil.  It will boil over quickly.  Don't ask how I know, just trust me

Ready to strain

You can see the juice here.  You can ladle through a strainer or just dump everything in at once.  Let is sit for about 30 minutes if you just want to dump it.  use cheese cloth or a jelly bag if you want very clear juice.

Here is your leftover pulp, seeds, and skins.

I mash a couple of cups at a time.  The seeds will clog up the holes in this kind of masher, but that makes a nice solid surface to mash with.  Don't bother trying to keep them out.

From approximately 7 pounds of plum I got 4 cups of pulp and juice.

So I tried it in the oven first.  It was too thick and got too hot in the house, so I took it out and cut it into strips while on the plastic wrap still.  Below is how it looked when I put it in the dehydrator.  A bit like Sizzlean.

Put it on wax paper and either layer it or roll it up and place in baggies.

Here it is on the butter bowl lids.

Even though this doesn't put off near the heat as the oven, it is portable and I have electricity on the back patio.  Enough heat is generated to keep the bugs out.  Plus I don't have to listen to the fan blowing all day long!

Finished product

Peeled off easily.  They are also the perfect size and I don't have to cut them apart. 

Stack or roll.

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