Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 11 ~ Try a New Cooking Technique

by Carrie Wells, Ed.D.
'Try a new cooking technique' was not initially a part of my cooking challenge, but I decided to add it in as Day 11. I'm always open to trying new techniques ~ and this time I went with using my oven as a food dehydrator. We had so many strawberries (probably around 3 or 4 pounds) that I decided to make some fruit leather.

First I sliced the strawberries. I looked at some other recipes that said to add water, lemon juice, and sugar. I added a bit of each, but honestly, these were so ripe and juicy, I probably should've just stuck with strawberries only. 
Each time I sliced a berry, I think Lydia ate half of it (see her guilty full cheeks??)

Then I simmered the mixture for about a half hour.

I pureed it in a small food processor. If you want to remove the seeds, you can pour it through a sieve, but I liked the natural texture that the seeds give it.

Then I spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. I set my oven to 170 degrees, and cooked the mixture 2-3 hours, until it was chewy (not sticky, but not brittle either).

Here's what the entire sheet looked like when I pulled it off the pan. 
The two random spots are where I poked my finger to see if it was still gooey.

I placed the fruit leather in the freezer for a few minutes to cool and firm. Lydia loved it! 

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