Help with fruit leather

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spandit

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 6, 2011
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Tried making medlar cheese over the festive period but despite copious boiling, it still hasn't set firm enough to turn out of a mould to slice. Thought I'd try putting some in the dehydrator to see if I can dry it to fruit leather but it's so sticky, I can't really roll it out or cut shapes from it.

I'm wondering if I sandwich it between two layers of greaseproof paper then it should be OK but concerned that the paper will stick to it afterwards.

Any other ideas? Got quite a large amount of it and would be a shame for it to go to waste as it took a lot of work just to get it this far
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Could you just use it like a spread? Maybe some further drying? Don't know what to suggest realy as I've never made anything with medlar so realy have no idea of how it behaves.
I'm sure Toddy will have better advice than me! But they were the two things that came to my mind that I would try.
I've had a few disasters this year too.
Busy making blackberry syrup and apricot jam at the same time I have sloppy jam and bottled blackberry jelly. I mixed the ordainary sugar and jam sugar up. Duh!
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I haven't tried Medlars, but the quince stuff needs to be boiled down without a lot of water to make the jelly.
I jarred it this year and it's like really tasty thick marmalade without any bits in it.

I tried to dehydrate some, but it stays sticky.
Sandbender originally posted about the Quince Cheese his missus made, then (name will come back to me) posted that he gets his made by the ladies in the valley where he lives. He picks the fruit and they make the paste for him. He mentioned that if it stays sticky then he dusts it with something like cinnamon, or garam masala, though fine crystal sugar works too (think crystallised ginger chunks, I think he meant that kind of sugar shaken over it)

It does stick to the baking parchment, but it does peel off, so I think what you've done with the dehydrator is probably the best option, and if it's still sticky, dust it with some sugar.

Interested to hear how you get on with it :)

M
 

Robson Valley

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Can you buy non-stick aluminum foil? In rolls like the regular stuff.
Great stuff to reheat food in the oven, nothing sticks to it.
Rinse it off and use it again.
 

spandit

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 6, 2011
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East Sussex, UK
The stuff that dried out doesn't have much taste and it's still a bit soft. Looks like beef jerky - perhaps I should market it as a vegan alternative!
 

Toddy

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Best vegan jerky comes from The JerkyMeister. His Missus makes it from tofu and marmite :D

I don't know what medlars taste like, so I can't help with that. Then again, I think Hawthorn fruit leather's not worth the effort, while pears are beyond worth the time, they're glorious if you use ripe pears.

I don't think I'd use rice flour on them, maybe Janne's tried though and knows better? rice flour's the stuff we use to stop bread rolls sticking to the bottom of the baking trays. It's wee dried hard bits, sort of. Makes a nice crunch in shortbread.

M
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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I use it to ‘powder’ the surface of fruits after I dry them, plus on the various Chorizo sausages we buy and age ourselves.


I like my dried fruits a little bit moist ( keep them in freezer here) and do not like them to stick together.

It has no taste. I use the very finely powdered sort. Well, the only sort we can buy here.

Some manufacturers of the M. Eastern fruit jellies either use powdered sugar, or rice flour. Some dried figs are 4ice flour powdered.

Medlars have a weird taste, acquired. Love them!

There is an ancient pear sort, stemming from the old southern border of Austria-Hungarian, today north east Italy, that needs to be bletted just like medlars. Disgusting unbelted, like chewing on unripe persimmons.

Tongue curls around itself a couple of turns!
 

Woody girl

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I think I would try dusting with icing sugar. It might improve the taste aswell. Might make it even stickier!
Another option would possibly be cornflour. Just a light dusting brush off excess. Much cheaper than rice flour but I don't know if it would improve the taste so much.
Last option if it's taste doesn't appeal as is... bin it! Next year do something else instead. :) sorry not much help here.medlars are out of my experience .
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Maybe just leave the stuff out in the open to dry off more?
I buy a bx of dried mango slices every couple of years. Dig out a few handfuls and allow them to really dry.
Icing sugar is a fair dryer, corn flour might be OK = the starch takes much longer to get "wet."
 

Robson Valley

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Oh, I forgot about your lush humidity.
It is bone dry here right now and about to get much worse as the temp drops top -30C nights and -20C days.
Reminds me to fill and start the humidifier.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Average humidity Glasgow 79.0 %
London 79.6%
Stockholm 77.8%
Malmo 79%
Berlin 80.8%
Vancouver 73.3%
Amsterdam 84%
Plymouth Cornwall 81%


So not so exceptionally humid in UK, similar to rest of Northern Europe.

I managed to dry funghi and fruit without a dehydrator for years. In Malmo.
Newspaper, slightly scrunched up.
The fruit leather ( kind of) I placed in the oven, lowest temp, on/off, with open door .

( I checked those % numbers quickly on the net, a weather site. Might differ slightly between different sites I guess! )
 
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Robson Valley

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Right now, the air is very cold outside and dry, stimulating all sorts of nasty respiratory malfunctions.
Perfect for running a dehydrator but there's nothing economical to use.
I'd prefer to cook and eat apples than attempt to make fruit leathers.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Average humidity Glasgow 79.0 %
London 79.6%
Stockholm 77.8%
Malmo 79%
Berlin 80.8%
Vancouver 73.3%
Amsterdam 84%
Plymouth Cornwall 81%


So not so exceptionally humid in UK, similar to rest of Northern Europe.

I managed to dry funghi and fruit without a dehydrator for years. In Malmo.
Newspaper, slightly scrunched up.
The fruit leather ( kind of) I placed in the oven, lowest temp, on/off, with open door .

( I checked those % numbers quickly on the net, a weather site. Might differ slightly between different sites I guess! )

We know that we can dry stuff in the oven, I used to put apple rings on skewers balanced on upturned tumblers and dry them on top of the radiators, long before I even knew dehydrators existed, but it's the constant background cool, but not frozen, humidity that makes keeping things dry an issue. If you don't seal them well, they absorb moisture. If they absorb enough, and the magic number is 67% humidity, then moulds grow.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Absolutely!

Depending on size, I usually put them in the freezer. The fungi I store in a cotton bag, inside it a paper bag ( so no ginghams bits fall through the cotton) hanging in the kitchen.

I have found that the speed of drying is important. Tastes better if quickly dried. The dehydrator I got some time ago is a god send, I can now dry much thicker slices of fruit, plus even bananas.

My best Mango tree is packed with flowers now. Gods willing it will be a good crop!

I wonder if the fruit leather base in this thread had not enough added sugar?

I tried to make f. leather from ripe Star fruit, it did not turn out well, never made the ‘leather’, so I added some bought Mango juice and made a kind of preserve.
Consistency like Apple sauce.
Cooking and preserving is fun!
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I don't add any sugar to the fruit leather I make.....but then I only really make pear, apple and banana, and they're sweet enough as they are.
I did try quince, and it had sugar added to it, and it didn't dry, just a sticky mess, so I jarred it and it's being used up as a home grown marmalade type stuff.

I don't think mangoes would need any sugar either, Janne. Honestly, they're sweet enough, just slice them up and dry them and they are lovely, I didn't even try for leather witht them, just slices.....and one can go right off some people, you've got mangoes growing! and they're 69p each here just now and they're not even ripe.
Like pears, use ripe fruit, and they're really well worth the effort.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
No, mangoes, when tree ripe, are well sweet enough. For a gelling agent and acidity usually add a couple of Green Apples.
I made a mistake the ear before last, and almost burned the jam.
Caramelized it a bit.
Best taste ever! Now I divide each cooking batch in two, jar one half ‘Classic style’ then gently caramelize the other half.
Fantastic on plain youghurt. Drizzled with rolled oats!

Never tried banana leather. Thank you for the idea, I have one bunch growing nicely now.
A Red banana, Cavendish group.

We used to buy both Mangoes and Starfruit as exotic, luxury fruit to put in a fruit salad. Had to sprinkle sugar on top .

Then we moved and discovered how delicious they are!

Our apples here suck though.
 

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