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How To Dry Puree and Fruit Leather

Line a cookie sheet (12 x 17 inches) with plastic wrap. This size
cookie sheet holds approximately 2 cups of puree. Spread puree or
fruit leather evenly over the plastic but do not push it completely
to the sides. Leave a bit of plastic showing for easy removal.
Place on a card table or picnic table in the hot sun to dry. If
the plastic is bigger than the cookie sheet and extends up the
sides, anchor it with clothes pins so it will not flop down and
cover the edges of the leather. Puree should dry in the sun six to
eight hours. The heat of the sun and the humidity make drying time
variable.

Puree and fruit leather may be dried in an oven set at 140 degrees
(F). Too high a heat will disintegrate the plastic. Leave the oven
door ajar so moisture can escape. It takes about six hours in the
oven. It can also be placed in the back window of a car and dried.
Leave the car windows open about 1 inch.

To make sure the fruit leather is completely dried, pull from the
plastic wrap or touch to see if the fruit leather is "tacky." Purees
without sugar will be much drier and more brittle. If it is not
completely dry it will mold during storage. When the fruit leather
becomes too dry, it will crack and crumble and won't roll, but is
still good to eat....call it "fruit chips."

Roll fruit leather loosely in plastic wrap and store in the cupboard.
To store puree without sugar for other uses, break it into small
pieces and store in plastic bags in a dry, cool place or in the
freezer.

To make berry purees, rinse berries, drain, put in a blender and
blend until the consistency of thick puree. Most berries do not
need to be cooked. Salmonberries and highbush cranberries have
larger seeds and should be put through a sieve after blending to
remove seeds.

Wash and cut about 1 quart of rhubarb into small 1/2" pieces. Put
1/4 cup water in a saucepan and add rhubarb. Cook only until rhubarb
starts to soften. Let cool slightly; put in blender and make into
puree. This should make about 2 cups of puree.


Use soft rose hips (the riper they are the sweeter they are). It
takes about 4 cups of rose hips to make 2 cups of puree. Remove
stalks and blossom ends. Rinse berries in cold water. Put them into
a pan and add enough water to almost cover. Bring to a boil and
simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Press through a sieve or strainer. All
that does not go through the sieve is placed in the pan again. Add
a little water, enough to almost cover, if you want a thicker puree,
add slightly less. This time heat but do not boil so vigorously.
This will dissolve a little more of the fruit so that it will go
through the sieve. Press again and then repeat the process one more
time. By now, most of the fruit should have gone through the sieve
leaving only seeds and skin to discard.

Rose hip powder may be made by crushing dried puree with a rolling
pin until it is fine enough to suit you. This may be stored in
small jars in a cool, dry place. It is good to sprinkle over cereal
and to include in hot cakes and other dishes.

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