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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homemade Apricot Leather



Apricot leather is one of my daughter's favorite treats, so whenever I'm in a Middle Eastern store, I always pick up a package for her. 

When my cousin Judy from California contacted me in search of an Apricot Fruit Leather recipe for our mutual cousin Wayne, I thought it 'HYE' time to make some from scratch. There are very few ingredients, and it's really easy to do - it just takes a bit of time.

For the record, two sources tell me that the official name for the fruit leather is 'pestil' or 'basteil' (spellings can vary greatly within Armenian circles!) - general meaning - 'fruit pulp'. 

Judy said Wayne's friend  had some apricot leather made by someone in Fresno a long time ago and now he wants to know how to make it.
Well, Judy and Wayne, here’s a pretty simple recipe using dried apricots. Hope you'll like it.
After all, there's nothing better than homemade!

Homemade Apricot Leather

Apricot Leather 
Approximate yield: 40 rolled pieces.

 Ingredients:
    8 ounces dried apricots
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 tsp. lemon juice
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    Confectioners' sugar

Directions:

 1.  Place apricots in a medium saucepan; add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and cool slightly.
Cooked apricots
 2. Place drained apricots in a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal “S” blade; add granulated sugar. Cover and process until smooth. Add lemon juice and process until blended.
 
Processed apricots.
3.  Preheat oven to 175°F (or up to 200°F since oven temps. vary).

4. Line two rimmed baking pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Spoon half of the apricot mixture onto each baking mat or parchment-lined pan. Thinly and evenly spread apricot mixture into a 12 x 8-in. rectangle; repeat with remaining fruit.
Apricot mixture spread thinly and evenly on parchment paper.

5.  Bake 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until almost dry to the touch. Leaving the fruit leather on the mats or parchment paper, cool completely on a wire rack.

6. Carefully remove the leather from the silicone mat – or – cautiously tear away the parchment paper. Transfer each apricot leather rectangle to a cutting board, which has been lightly sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.  Lightly dust the top of the leather with confectioner’s sugar, too.

7. Cut into ½ x 8-in. strips using a pastry wheel, pizza wheel or knife. If the fruit leather sticks to the cutting tool, air dry for about 15 more minutes then slice and roll.
 
Slicing and rolling
 8. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. If stored properly, fruit leather should keep for about 1 month.

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Well Dave, are you talking about using some of the marvelous fresh mangoes from your trees? They'll have a higher moisture content than the dried apricots I used, so another recipe would be in order. We'll discuss it over dinner.

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  2. Funny timing. I opened my pantry the other day and saw a container of dried apricots and thought about making fruit leather with them. Every recipe I have seen calls for fresh fruit, but it seemed to make sense using the dried - seems like the process would be faster. Now I'll definitely have to try it! I was thinking for mixing in (or sprinkling on) some toasted almonds.

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    Replies
    1. It's a pretty simple recipe, Chris. The addition of nuts would be a nice touch!

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  3. Pestil :) It is very delicious and healthy. ;)

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