Tales of an Apricot Fruit Leather
September, 2014 · By Coryanne Ettiene
There are some things in life worth making, whilst there are others that leave you baffled as to why on Earth you invested so much time. On the top of that list is fruit leather. In July my Pinterest stream was flooded with fruit leather pins flirting with me from behind the screen: beautifully packed rolls of fresh fruit tied up with string beckoning me to lick my screen. I tried several recipes, all of them so similar that you hardly noticed the difference, because at the heart of this recipe is dried fruit, sugar, juice and a whopping time crunch. You need your oven just right, the moisture on spot and the balance of sweet perfect; and what no one will tell you is that if you don’t eat them right away, their appeal dries out in an instant.
I’ve been working hard on my photography and for the first time had a series that left me giddily as a child for days…forget the slog of time it took to make the cursed fruit leather, it was the result that pleased me the most and I could not wait to share the images with you. So with a quick tease on my Instagram feed, I posted a picture and dashed off to the Genius Bar for what I presumed was a quick repair of my motherboard. A week later when I retuned to collect my Mac, I found my motherboard repaired, but in the process, my passport hard drive and my laptop wiped clean. I tossed myself on the ground like a toddler and wept… not just for months of work lost, but because among the loss was my fruit leather series. The poor manager of the Mac store, try as he might, could not digest how my data had been lost, nor how to manage my dramatic display. For the 100 people in the store that day, they left with a great story…for me, I left knowing that as much as I loved the series of photos, I would not be making fruit leather again.
There recipe I finally developed allowed the fruit to take the lead in both flavor and sweetness, leaving a slight tang where the citrus lingered…. but there truth is, using an oven and not a dehydrator means that you spend hours watching, turning, testing…. until finally you have a dozen strips of golden leather. What started as a project for the children, ended up with a project that I took over because even they became disintrerested with the process. For those who love making fruit leather, I applaud you. For those who want to try making fruit leather, try it once — you might love it, or you may loathe it. All I can tell you is that… what I had hoped would be a homemade staple in our children’s lunches, is now being purchased from the natural snack aisle at the grocery store.