food Program

Cherry Fruit Leather

Contributed by Kim O'Donnel, from the Real Food Right Now series

Adapted from Put'em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Ingredients
4 cups sweet dark cherries, stemmed and pitted
A large splash (About 14 cup) of water
13 to 12 cup granulated sugar

Directions
Place the cherries and water in a medium-sized saucepan (a deeper pot is good if using an immersion blender in the pan) and bring to a boil. Simmer until the cherries begin to break down, 10 to 15 minutes.

Puree the fruit, using an immersion blender or by pouring it into a stand blender and then back into the pot again.

Preheat the oven to 170°F. Line a jelly-roll pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.

Add the sugar and continue to simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the puree thickens to the consistency of baby food; this may take 10 to 15 minutes.

Spread the thickened puree onto the baking sheet, tilting to create an even layer about 1/8 inch thick. Bake in the oven until just tacky to the touch, 2 to 3 hours (I would estimate closer to 3).

Cool to room temperature. Slide the leather (and its liner) onto a cutting board and carefully peel away the leather. Slice the leather in half vertically. Roll up each half and slice each roll into strips, about 2 inches wide. Store roll-ups in an airtight container for a few weeks.

Learn more about cherries in Kim’s full post on Ecocentric Blog.