Fruit Leather seems kinda fancy. Fruit Leather seems maybe like one of those things that impossibly overachieving mothers might do, as though they were being judged on the contents of their child's lunchbox. But secretly, fruit leather is easy. I mean, it is so easy. It is just the thing to do with fruit that is over-ripe or over-abundant. All you need is fruit, a blender, and a dehydrator. Heck, even an oven set to 150° F will do!
The recipe that follows is for persimmon leather, but almost any pulpy fruit can be made into leather. (Fruits like grape, melon, or citrus, that might be too watery on their own, can be blended with heartier fruits like apple, strawberry, or banana. Or persimmon!)
Right now, persimmons are the fruit of the hour. Not everyone loves the sweet, gooey texture of a ripe Hachiya, or the mild, crisp sweetness of a Fuyu persimmon. Even those who do enjoy these fruits might have tired of eating them out of hand. Prolific and generous, persimmon trees often bear more than we know what to do with. Because it is a low-acid fruit, persimmons are not a good choice for water-bath canning into jam. Dehydration is the way to go!
The fruits can be sliced into thin rounds and dehydrated as is, or pureed and spread on sheets to dry.
We like to add a little zest and squeeze of lemon juice to the puree, to balance the sugar with a little acidity. Somehow the combined flavors unite to create something that evokes oranges! Ginger or cinnamon are other good flavor additions, easy to sprinkle into the blended fruit.
Wash the persimmons, and remove the stem. Gooey Hachiyas, or crisp Fuyus both work equally well.
Quarter the fruits if they are crisp; a fully ripe Hachiya needs no further attention.
Blend 'em! Blend the fruits on high until they have reached a smooth consistency, with no chunks.
OPTIONAL: Add lemon zest or other additional spices, and blend them in.
Pour the pureed mixture onto sheets, about 1/4" thick. Silicon dehydrator sheets work great for this. Parchment paper can also be used.
Dehydrate the persimmon leather at about 135° F, for about 6 hours, or until the desired texture is reached.
When the fruit leather has reached the desired consistency, dry but still supple and flexible, remove it from heat. Peel the leather off of the silicon sheets, if using.
The fruit leather can be stored by rolling it into serving-sized pieces. Cut the leather to the desired size, and roll it up. If desired, the leather may be placed on a sheet of parchment paper, to protect the fruit. The parchment paper should be just a tad larger than the fruit leather, to make sure all the fruit is protected. Secure the rolls with baker's twine, if desired.
The leather may be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.
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