I shared the first steps in this process in my post “Rhubarb Stewie“, which made some delicious stewed rhubarb. It was more than we needed, so I continued to process some of the stewed rhubarb into the next delicious rhubarb recipe – Fruit leather!
- 4 cups stewed rhubarb
- 1 medium ziplock back of strawberries
Picking up where we left off in the last post. Take your stewed rhubarb and drain the juices. I use a fine sieve with some cheesecloth in it and place it over the stewing pot to collect the juice. Once mostly drained, I wrap the cheesecloth around the top, fit a bowl on top and weight it down with something heavy to help squeeze the last bit of juice out so that you have mostly just rhubarb pulp. Make sure to keep all the juice.
Gently unravel your drained rhubarb and place in a food processor. Don’t throw out all that liquid! Keep it for part 3 of these recipes.
Add your strawberries. You are also welcome to use other fruit if you like, but I recommend something on the sweet side. We were using our wild driveway berries that taste like little candies. Packed with natural sugars.
Puree together until well blended. Don’t add any extra sugar or liquids at this point.
Prepare your dehydrator trays. You can also do this in the oven at your lowest setting. I only have 1 fruit leather tray, so I make more using some parchment paper. I just trace the fruit leather insert and cut to size. Works great!
Oil the tray and the parchment paper. VERY IMPORTANT. Without the oil, the fruit leather will stick and tear. I like to use coconut oil with fruit leathers because if there is residue it just blends in unlike other oils like vegetable oil or cooking oil.
Plop some spoonfuls onto your trays. Don’t put too much on to start, you can always add, but it is a pain to try to take some off.
Smooth, level and tap. Using a spatula, I do my best to smooth the mixture to all the edges of the tray for maximum coverage. I then spend a little time levelling everything out, though it is rarely actually level, but that is ok. Just do it as best you can, it doesn’t need to be perfect. I then give it a few light taps on the counter to settle the mixture.
Turn your dehydrator to 60C or 140F and run for 6 hours. I start checking mine at 5 hours just in case one is a little thinner and dries faster. You want it to be slightly soft to the touch, but not squishy.
I have left mine longer than 6 hours and it is still delicious, but more like beef jerky, with lots of chewing involved. Being able to check it or stop your dehydrator at 6 hours (for those with a fancy version with a timer), you end up with a slightly chewy, but still soft fruit leather.
Let the leather cool for a few minutes, then cut it into strips or triangles, depending on the shape of your dehydrator. Mine is round, so it is easiest to do little triangles.
Wrap in some saran wrap and store in the fridge. I find it can last a few weeks wrapped up and stored in the fridge, though it rarely lasts more than a week!
Chit Chat Portion
This is a go-to recipe for us for lunches. Its homegrown and feels healthy, despite the fact that it is packed with sugar. Most of the sugar is naturally occurring, non-processed variety, which makes it feel like a healthier snack. I have no idea if it actually is, mostly because I can’t make heads or tails of all the diet sites and rando’s recommendations for sugar intakes. We don’t eat a huge amount in one sitting, so I feel this fits in the “in moderation” category.
Depending on the time of summer we will either use our driveway strawberries, which are the tiny wild strawberries that pack a punch of flavour, or our delicious and juicy large ever-bearing strawberries from our towers. Either way, I don’t need more sugar than the couple cups I add when stewing the rhubarb.
If you want to find out what I use all that yummy rhubarb juice for, check out our next blog post.