This is an indulgent and yet healthful goody. You’ll love having a stash of Pumpkin Pie Fruit Leather for portable snacks. I played around with ideas for this recipe for about 3 pumpkin seasons and while it can be made without pectin I find the texture of the finished product more toothsome and less prone to cracking when I do use it. Feel free to alter the spices to suit your taste.
3 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup Roasted Pumpkin or Winter Squash Puree
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp instant pectin (Ball makes instant pectin for freezer jam)
1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground cloves or nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
Note: Recipe makes 2 large square trays of fruit leather using the Excalibur dehydrator or 3 round trays. Multiply the recipe accordingly to make as many trays as you wish. You do not need special “fruit leather inserts” or teflex sheets to make fruit leather using this method.
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, the reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and spattering. Cool somewhat.
While mixture is cooling, prepare your dehydrator trays. Make paper backing for your fruit leather sheets. Lay a dehydrator screen or tray on parchment paper, trace around it with a pencil and cut out as many sheets as needed. Position a square (or round) of paper on each tray.
|Parchment paper is found near plastic wrap in stores.|
Measure 2 cups of puree.
|A Pyrex measuring cup is perfect for measuring and pouring the pumpkin puree.|
Pour puree in a square-ish shape on parchment-lined tray.
|Pouring in a square shape makes for easier spreading.|
Using an offset spatula (like the kind used for cake decorating) spread the puree evenly about 1/4 inch thick, slightly thicker at the edges and thinner in the middle for even drying.
|Pretend you are icing a cake! Hold your offset spatula level and swivel the dehydrator tray as you work.|
|Spread puree evenly – not quite to the edges of the paper.|
|Puree is about 1/4 inch thick; slightly thinner in the center and thicker at the edges for even drying.|
Load trays into dehydrator and dry at 130 degrees for 4-5 hours, or 6-8 hours for a full dehydrator load. Halfway through, rotate trays from front to back and top to bottom to promote even drying.
Using a clean pair of scissors, cut each sheet with its paper backing into 6 servings. Roll each serving in a cigar shape and secure with a piece of masking tape wrapped around its middle.
Place fruit leather in clean jars, food-safe containers, or heavy duty zipper-top bags and store at room temperature or in the freezer until needed, up to 1 year.
Variation: substitute 5 cups peeled, cored, chopped apples for the applesauce. Cook as directed, but longer – until apples are soft enough to mash with a fork. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until smooth. Proceed as directed above.
Yield: 2 square trays; 12 individual servings
|A re-purposed Yankee candle jar stores a dozen Pumpkin Pie Fruit Rolls and makes a lovely gift presentation.|