Friday, September 24, 2010

Fruit Leather

Fruit leather

I had a bunch of peaches that I got this weekend, so I was pretty excited to use them. They weren't very good though, not much flavor and not sweet. I was dissapointed.. But I decided to try my hand at fruit leather since the kids love fruit roll ups and I could add lots of sugar to counter act the lack of flavor... great thing about fruit leather is, you don't have to add any sugar is you don't want to.. more healthy!


Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears,)
Lemon juice
Sugar (if needed)
Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Rinse the fruit. If you working with stone fruit, take out the pits, chop the fruit. If working with apples or pears, peel and core them, then chop. Taste the fruit, if it is really sweet then you will use less sugar, if it is tart you will use more...

Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. Uncover and stir. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan. Taste the fruit and determine what and how much sugar, lemon juice, or spices to add. Add sugar in small amounts, to desired level of sweetness. Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time to help brighten the flavor of the fruit. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices to augment the flavor. I did peach leather so I didn't add any spices... but I bet it would be yummy with pear.

Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more).

Blend fruit in food processor or blender.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. I shook the pan side to side slightly to even out the puree.

Bake at 140 to 190 (mine only goes as low as 170 but I baked mine at 190 to slightly speed up the process) all day. It took mine about 6 hours.

When fruit leather is ready, it will no longer be sticky to the touch and will peel off easily after it has slightly cooled.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Strawberry swirl cheesecake with strawberry sauce...

YUM... I have to admit, I LOVE cheesecake. Funny thing is.. I hated it growing up, you couldn't make me eat anything with cream cheese. Boy, am I glad I changed my mind.

Strawberry swirl cheesecake

12 graham crackers
6 T melted butter

2 1/2 pkgs. of 8 oz creams cheese softened
1 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 egg white
2 T. flour
1 t. vanilla extract
3 T. sour cream

Preheat oven to 400. Throw graham crackers in food processor or blender and blend until crushed. Add the melted butter and mix. Press into a spring form pan, firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Then pull out.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and blend well. Add eggs and the yolk, one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Blend in the flour, vanilla and sour cream and mix until smooth. Pour batter evenly over crust.

Puree strawberries (about 10) and then dot the mixture over the top of batter, take a knife and gently swirl the puree into the batter.

Place pan into the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400, then reduce heat t0 250 and bake an additional hour and 30 minutes or until a knife comes of clean when inserted into the middle. Once cheesecake has cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Strawberry sauce

For the sauce, I just blended a bunch of strawberries, added sugar (the more you use the sweeter it will be) and then heated on the oven until it started to boil. Then cool and drizzle on cake.