Top | The River Cottage Preserves Handbook
(recipe, Pam Corbin)
Fruit leathers are thin, pliable sheets of dried, sweetened fruit purée with a flexible consistency like leather. To be truthful, I had always avoided making them, thinking they sounded complicated. But in a spirit of experimentation, I decided to try some out. They were a revelation. I discovered how easy it is to create these strong, semitransparent sheets, and how versatile they are. They are fun to use and eat — you can cut them, roll them, fold them, and pack them away. Light and easy to carry, they're full of fruity energy, so they're great for lunch boxes or long walks. Snip off pieces to dissolve gently into fruit salads, or save them for the festive season when their translucent, jewel-like colors will look gorgeous on the Christmas tree.
Variations: You can turn any fruit into a leather. All you need to do is create a smooth, thick purée with your chosen fruit before drying it out. Try plums, spicing the purée with a little cinnamon; or peaches, infusing them with a few honeysuckle blossoms as they cook. For a savory leather, use half apples and half tomatoes seasoned with 2 teaspoons of souper mix or celery salt.