I’ve gotten into a show called Sweets Made Simple on BBC Two. It’s a show where a quirky married couple makes candy. I want to make everything on that show. Boozy chocolates, rose flavored turkish delight, salted caramel! They recently made fruit leather and I was so excited. I love fruit leather.
Fruit leather also makes me feel a little nostalgic for back to school and my colleagues at Live It Learn It who are back in the US. My coworker Erica and I were a little crazy for fruit leather at the end of last school year. It was our snack of choice during the many meetings we were having. She’d have a big stash in her backpack and I’d peak through and pull out my favorite flavors. Snacks are always a nice way to pep up the workday.
But I almost never buy fruit leather because it’s usually expensive. It’s like $2 for four inches of dried fruit that I can eat in one second. With this recipe I made a 10.5×15.5″ baking sheet sized piece for less than £3 (about $5)! I’ll be honest it is way easier to buy it at the store. This is so easy to make and takes almost no hands-on time, but it takes forever – and I could still eat this whole tray in one second. However here are three reasons why I like this recipe:
1. I really like making things that I previously thought only came from the store. It makes me feel accomplished that I’m capable of DIY-ing something that seemed like a mystery.
2. It’s cheap! Seriously £3!!! The plums were £2, the lemon was 50p, and I don’t know what 3 tbsp of sugar costs, but you could swipe it from your local coffee shop if you wanted to.
3. Every ingredient in this recipe is normal and familiar and pretty healthy. It’s sort of nice to have a yummy and healthy snack where you can pronounce all the ingredients.
If you’re not into plums, you can do this recipe with any sort of stone fruit. But I do recommend the plums. They are so flavorful and the lemon makes it nice and tart. I also wholeheartedly believe you can do this with any kind of fruit if you just follow the pattern of the recipe.
Adapted from Sweets Made Simple.
6-8 plums (I used 8 because mine were small)
200ml water (that’s .84 of a cup)
juice from 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp sugar
1. Remove the pit from the plums. (TV tip: cut the plum perpendicular to the ridge and twist to remove the stone).
2. Roughly chop the plum flesh.
3. Put the plums and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. It will turn a beautiful color!
4. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Take a potato masher and squash everything in the pot.
5. Heat for 10 more minutes.
6. If you have an immersion blender, mix up the fruit in the pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the fruit to a blender and mix it until it is a smooth puree.
7. Cover a baking tray with plastic wrap. (Check that it is microwave safe). I know it seems weird to do this but I promise it will be ok.
8. Preheat the oven to it’s lowest setting. For me it was 50°. Maybe for you 130-140°.
9. Slowly pour the fruit puree onto the baking sheet. Use a silicon spatula and spread the mixture evenly on the tray. If you don’t have a rimmed sheet don’t worry, the mixture doesn’t ooze and spread too much. Make sure the plastic wrap doesn’t fall back on the fruit puree – if it does that part won’t get dry and harden.
10. Heat in the oven for 10 hours. I know, that’s forever. Do it before you go to bed and in the morning it will be ready. Or, do it on a weekend when you’re home all day.
11. When it cools peel it off the plastic wrap. It’s a pretty stained glass piece of fruit leather!
12. Put it on a cutting board. Cut it up how you like! You could do it in strips, roll it into bundles, cut it into shapes with a cutter, or roll it with parchment and store in an air tight container.