a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Monday, 24 September 2012

Jam and leather

Frustrating weather that couldn't decide to rain or not meant I decided to stay in, guard the washing blowing on the line and use some of the fruit up out of the freezer. Searching in the depths I find some almost ancient redcurrants and blackberries - a strange mix but we have too many redcurrants (which is why they get to be so old) and not enough other fruit.

The jam version of my efforts

The main downside to this fruit mix for jam is that either the jam has lots and lots of seed or I have to sieve it. Tedious as it is, I prefer the sieved version which is technically a butter.
At this ppint, I decided instead of making jam with all the purée, I'd have a go at making fruit leather - a sort of fruity chewy toffee-thing.
testing the consistency
Now somewhere I have a recipe - but I couldn't find it quickly enough so just went on guesswork. I've talked to Tudor re-enacters  about fruit leather - it was a popular way of preserving soft fruit back in Tudor times - and been assured that it doesn't require a lot of sugar - so, to half pint of purée I added an ounce of sugar, boiled it up till I thought it was stiff enough

and poured it into a paper-lined dish to set - hopefully.

It didn't quite set as I'd hoped so I popped in back in the oven after baking when it was still warm but cooling and after a while it was ready to peel off the backing paper.

It still seems a little moist and I can't imagine it will keep any length of time. So I've cut it into strips, laid them on clean baking paper and I'm now leaving it to dry further. So far so good, but I'm suspecting that like dried apple it won't last long enough to test its keeping abilities!


  1. Pity if it doesn't keep. Would look and tasted great shredded finely on yoghurt or ice cream.

  2. I'm going to try it again sometime in larger quantities. For now as it sits on a tray in the kitchen, I keep picking up and eating pieces as I pass. Slightly sour - a bit like sour cherry sweets - but more-ish.