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Tres Fig Balsamic Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

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Figs are in season!  I tried really hard to walk by them at the store but they hornswaggled me and force me to take them home….yea yea, that’s the ticket, they hornswaggled me!   Not only bought one basket, not two, but three followed me home.  I had an instant idea to make a fruit leather that incorporated all three slightly different but unique flavors.

Some figs are extremely sweet, even to the point of oozing a bit of syrup from their skins.  Today I used;  Black Mission figs which are perfect for serving plain, with yogurt, or with tangy fresh raw cheese  for dessert.  They have blackish-purple skin and dark pink flesh.  It’s famous for its distinctive, mildly honey-sweet flavor. The deep purple skin darkens to a rich black when dried with a deep reddish flesh.   The second fig I used was the Calimyrna fig which has a slightly golden skin and a pinkish flesh that has a distinctive nutty flavor.  The third fig turned out to be the Texas Everbearing fig which is a medium-large mahogany brown fruit with deep burgundy pulp.  Ideal for fresh eating or preserves.

My thought was to make this fruit leather “Neapolitan style”.  Each fig produced 1 cup of puree,  so I processed each one separately and then poured three strips of each puree (1/2 a cup each) onto two dehydrator trays that were lined with teflex.  I then spread each one down into a strip and then married the edges.

If you are a fig lover you will really enjoy this leather!  Enjoy!

Black Fig Ingredients: yields 1 cup puree

  • 2 cups halved black figs
  • 1 tsp raw agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar

Green Fig Ingredients:  yields 1 cup puree

  • 2 cups halved green figs
  • 1 tsp raw agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar

Purple Fig Ingredients:  yields 1 cup puree

  • 2 cups halved purple figs
  • 2 tsp raw agave nectar (used a bit more to up the sweetness profile)
  • 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preparation – puree each fig separately:

  • Select RIPE or overly ripe figs that have reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor.
  • Puree the figs, agave, and balsamic vinegar, in the blender or food processor until smooth.  Taste and sweeten more if needed.  Keep in mind that flavors will intensify as they dehydrate.  When adding a sweetener do so a little at a time, and reblend, tasting until it is at the desired taste.  It is best to use a liquid type sweetener.  Don’t use a granulated sugar because it tends to change the texture.
  • Spread the fruit puree on teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator.  Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  I poured 1/2 a cup of each puree on one tray and spread it into strips.  If you don’t have teflex sheets for the trays, you can line your trays with plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Do not use wax paper or aluminum foil.
    • Lightly coat the food dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray, I use coconut oil that comes in a spray.
    • When spreading the puree on the liner, allow about an inch of space between the mixture and the outside edge.  The fruit leather mixture will spread out as it dries, so it needs a little room to allow for this expansion.
    • Be sure to spread the puree evenly on your drying tray.  When spreading the puree mixture, try tilting and shaking the tray to help it distribute more evenly.  Also, it is a good idea to rotate your trays throughout the drying period.  This will help assure that the leathers dry evenly.
  • Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 105 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 16 (+/-) hours.  Finished consistency should be pliable and easy to roll.
    • Check for dark spots on top of the fruit leather.  If dark spots can be seen it is a sign that the fruit leather is not completely dry.
    • Press down on the fruit leather with a finger.  If no indentation is visible or if it is no longer tacky to the touch, the fruit leather is dry and can be removed from the dehydrator.
    • Peel the leather from the dehydrator trays or parchment paper. If it peels away easily and holds its shape after peeling, it is dry. If it is still sticking or loses its shape after peeling, it needs further drying.
    • Under-dried fruit leather will not keep; it will mold.  Over-dried fruit leather will become hard and crack, although it will still be edible and will keep for a long time
  • Storage: to store the finished fruit leather…
    • Allow the leather to cool before wrapping up to avoid moisture from forming, thus giving it a breeding ground for molds.
    • Roll them up and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
    • Place in an air-tight container, and store in a dry, dark place. (Light will cause the fruit leather to discolor.)
    • The fruit leather will keep at room temperature for one month, or in a freezer for up to one year

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