Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pumpkin Leather

I came across the website of the National Center for Home Food Preservation. (Note to readers: If your reaction to that sentence is "Wow! Cool!" or "Old news. I've had that bookmarked for ages," you are as big a dork as I am.)

They have a recipe for Pumpkin Leather, so I'm giving it a try, of course.

Pumpkin Leather

  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin, cooked and pureed
  • (can substitute 2 cans pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered cloves
  • Blend ingredients well. Spread on tray
    or cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap. Dry at 140ºF.

    The general directions for making leathers are over at their Fruit Leathers page:

    Preparing the Trays

    For drying in the oven a 13" x 15" cookie pan with edges works well. Line pan with plastic wrap being careful to smooth out wrinkles. Do not use waxed paper or aluminum foil.

    To dry in a dehydrator, specially designed plastic sheets can be purchased or plastic trays can be lined with plastic wrap.

    Pouring the Leather

    Fruit leathers can be poured into a single large sheet (13" X 15") or into several smaller sizes. Spread pureé evenly, about 1/8-inch thick, onto drying tray. Avoid pouring pureé too close to the edge of the cookie sheet. The larger fruit leathers take longer to dry. Approximate drying times are 6 to 8 hours in a dehydrator, up to 18 hours in an oven and 1 to 2 days in the sun.

    Drying the Leather

    Dry fruit leathers at 140ºF. Leather dries from the outside edge toward the center. Test for dryness by touching center of leather; no indentation should be evident. While warm, peel from plastic and roll, allow to cool and rewrap the roll in plastic. Cookie cutters can be used to cut out shapes that children will enjoy. Roll, and wrap in plastic.

    Chances are the fruit leather will not last long enough for storage. If it does, it will keep up to 1 month at room temperature. For storage up to 1 year, place tightly wrapped rolls in the freezer.

    I, in typical fashion, started this project, and put it in the oven before I realized I needed 18 hours in the oven. So I should take it out. . . tomorrow at 1pm. Smack in the middle of the work day. So, uh, I'll be playing this one by ear. But I'll let you know if it works or if I've screwed up completely. I have high hopes.

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