How To Dry Puree and Fruit Leather
2 c Fruit puree
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." STORING PUREE AND FRUIT LEATHER 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. 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.