Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sun Drying: Strawberry Fruit Leather

Mmmm.  Extra strawberries.  Yes, these are cultivated.
Ooga is an expert jam-maker and cans gallons of fruits each year.  It's a thing of beauty to see our pantry full of brightly colored mason jars in the winter.  But I (Thag) have searched for a more primitive way of keeping our fruits--something that our wild ancestors would have done.  So this time, after all of the jars of strawberries were put up.  I decided to take the rest of our strawberry bounty and dry it in the sun.  

Spreading the strawberry puree.  
Now, I've dried blueberry fruit leathers in the past . . . once.  So my drying experience was pretty limited.  But I'd done the basic procedure, so I set out with cavalier resolve to make strawberry leathers.  I vaguely remembered something about what a pain it was to flip last year's blueberry fruit leathers once they were mostly dried.  So this time I had what seemed like a stroke of genius--dry each leather on a pan covered in wax paper.  I thought that I could easily peel the leather off of the paper and it would flip right over like a giant pancake.  

It didn't exactly work that way.  The strawberries dried almost completely through by the time I went to flip them, and they stuck like a layer of strawberry glue to the wax paper.  I eventually wrested them free with a metal spatuala, a knife, and sheer force of will.

And . . . mmm . . . they taste great.  Not too sweet.  It's going to be hard to save them for winter, but that's OK.  I've got a whole bunch of strawberry jam to eat in the meantime.

Here's what we did.

Drying on the roof--a short-lived experiment.  
Peeling the leather off the wax paper--more arduous that it should
have been.  Next time I think I'll grease the paper.  
  1. Pick--We had about (gee, I don't know) three quarts of berries.  
  2. Blend--Next we put them through our food processor--um, our stone age food processor.  What came out was a chunk strawberry puree.  
  3. Spread--We poured the puree onto two big baking sheets and spread it around until it was uniform thickness about 3/16" thick.  
  4. Dry--Then we put the sheets in the sun.  I started by putting the sheets on our roof, that didn't work.  The pitch of the roof was too steep, and the puree began to flow downhill.  So then I re-spread them and laid them on the roof of our car instead.  It was a hot day and they dried within six hours.  
  5. Flip--Most leathers need to be flipped to dry on both sides.  As listed above, that's not what happened here.  One leather got a drying on the other side after some meticulous removal from the waxed paper.  The other was dried completely before it came off.  
  6. Store--Wrapped the leathers between some fresh sheets of wax paper.  (Don't worry.  They won't stick this time.  We've tried this before.)  Put them on the shelf next to Ooga's jam.  


  1. dry strawberry is really awesome and testy things.but its making process is quite difficult.but after reading that blog it become so easy to me.
    thank you very much for that blog.
    strawberry lover

  2. dry strawberry is really juicy dish. i really like this recipe.

    Thank you very much

    1. Glad you guys are enjoying. Check out our recent post (July 2013) on this for some more hints on drying fruit.

  3. dry strawberry is a good fruit on the would. its very testy fruit.

    Thank you very much