05 August 2011

I Survived the 2011 Peaches and Blueberries!

My new favorite thing that resulted from taking advantage of Tree Ripe Citrus deliveries is fruit leather!

I have made and stored lots of little snack packs of peach leather.  It is a little bit fussy to make, but will be worth it when we can snack on yummy peaches this winter.

To make it, I added ½ cup of water to each pound of peeled, pitted, and halved peaches.  I just used an average of 3 peaches per pound so I didn’t have to keep weighing.  It isn’t rocket science, close works.  I brought these to boiling over high heat and then reduced the heat and simmered for 20 minutes while mashing the peaches with a potato masher.  Next, I lined a strainer with damp cheesecloth and drained off the juice until it quit dripping.  The juice can be used for peach jelly, sweetened with honey and added to iced tea, or just drunk straight.  The drained pulp went into the blender with a bit of honey until it was pureed.  I had to experiment with the honey…no honey left the leather pretty tart, which the kids weren’t crazy about and too much left the dried leather sticky and hard to handle.  Since I do everything completely by the seat of my pants, I have no idea how much honey worked; I just eyeballed it.  But if I had to guess, I’d say 1-2 teaspoons per 3 peaches would probably be in the ballpark.  Then I smeared the puree onto the dehydrator fruit leather trays and let her rip at 135°F (which is what my dehydrator recommends for fruit).  It would also work to spread it on wax paper on cookie sheets and dry it in a warm oven.


Here is the finished leather.


I cut it into strips with clean kitchen shears and stuck the strips to wax paper.  I folded the wax paper in half and then folded it up…


…so it would fit in a snack size ziplock baggie.  Since there aren’t any preservatives, I tossed all the baggies in the deep freeze.  I can grab a baggie or two out of the freezer and toss it into my bag when we go to playdates or open gym or the park.  They should be thin enough and low moisture enough to defrost pretty quickly.

From 5 half-bushels of peaches and 40 pounds of blueberries, the final tallies for peachy and blueberry-y goodness put away are:

  • Dehyrated Blueberries: 5 pints
  • Frozen Blueberries: 2 quarts
  • Blueberry Butter: 8 half-pints and 1-4 oz. jar
  • Blueberry Pie Filling: 5 pints
  • Blueberry Syrup: 6½ pints
  • Blushing Peach-Almond Conserve:  10-4 oz. jars
  • Honey Peach Syrup (for iced-tea): 8 pints
  • Frozen Peach Halves:  2 half-gallons
  • Peach Leather:  20 snack bags
  • Peaches in Light Syrup:  35 quarts
  • Zesty Peach BBQ sauce:  7 half-pints and 1 pint


Molly Bee said...

Wow! Honing out post apocolyptical skills BIG TIME!

Namma said...

"Survived" is right! What's left that you plan to preserve after this?...apples, tomatoes, anything else?

verdemama said...

That's impressive. We have mainly been freezing and eating straight up. I had big plans, but after tons of strawberry and cherry canning and preserving, I couldn't quite muster it up :)