We're moving. Again. I KNOW! We just got settled and the winds of change are blowing us out of here already. Not sure where we're headed just yet, but we'll be temporarily camping out at my parents' place until we do. Among other logistical concerns of the move, we have several pounds of frozen blackberries that I had picked back in June that need to be consumed by the end of the month. What to do, what to do? How about dry them into fruit leathers?
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I've never made fruit leathers before. But I have a dehydrator, so how hard could it be? I found a very simple recipe for making blackberry leather on the website, Bloom, Bake & Create. Lynda's leathers are simple and beautiful, so I was really excited to try this.
Following the recipe's instructions, I pureed eight cups of thawed blackberries with about three tablespoons of honey until smooth in my Ninja (man, I love that machine...).
I then smoothed the puree over five stacking shelves of my dehydrator, using the special leathers inserts (plastic trays that hold the puree so the goo doesn't ooze between layers). I wasn't sure how thick to spread the puree, so I guessed at about 1/8". Lynda's recipe suggested 8-10 hours of drying time with a flip midway to ensure even drying. After four hours, there was no way I could flip my layers because they were huge and stuck to the trays. So I just let them go on the same side for another five hours.
This may have been a mistake. Actually, I'm not sure where I went wrong. It could be that I spread the puree too thin or that I should have poured the puree into strips, rather than covering the whole surface. It could be that I dried them too long. In all events, my leathers chipped off the trays like cheap nail polish, rather than attractive square fruit roll-ups. That said, THEY TASTE AMAZING. The eight cups of berries dried down to four pint jars of loosely packed tart leather bits. They are clumsy to eat, but do really taste good. Plus, I'm happy it cleared out a shelf of my freezer. One less thing to pack.