Recipe Corner: Homemade Apricot Leather

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Recipe and photos contributed by Robyn Kalajian at thearmeniankitchen.com

Approximate yield: 40 rolled pieces.

Apricot leather is one of Robyn Kalajian’s daughter’s favorite treats, so whenever she is in a Middle Eastern store, she always picks up a package for her. However, when a cousin contacted her in search of an Apricot Fruit Leather recipe Robyn thought it was “Hye” time to make some from scratch. There are very few ingredients, and it’s really easy to make — it just takes a bit of time. For the record, two sources state that the official name for the fruit leather is “pestil” or “basteil” (spellings can vary greatly within Armenian circles) – the general meaning, “fruit pulp.”

Ingredients:

8 ounces dried apricots

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2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Confectioner’s sugar

Preparation:

  1. Place apricots in a medium saucepan; add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and cool slightly.
  2. Place drained apricots in a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal “S” blade; add granulated sugar. Cover and process until smooth. Add lemon juice and process until blended.
  3. Preheat oven to 175°F (or up to 200°F since oven temperatures vary).
  4. Line two rimmed baking pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Spoon half of the apricot mixture onto each baking mat or parchment-lined pan. Thinly and evenly spread apricot mixture into a 12 x 8-in. rectangle; repeat with remaining fruit.
  5. Bake 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until almost dry to the touch. Leaving the fruit leather on the mats or parchment paper, cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Carefully remove the leather from the silicone mat – or – cautiously tear away the parchment paper. Transfer each apricot leather rectangle to a cutting board, which has been lightly sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Lightly dust the top of the leather with confectioner’s sugar, too.
  7. Cut into ½ x 8-in. strips using a pastry wheel, pizza wheel or knife. If the fruit leather sticks to the cutting tool, air dry for about 15 more minutes then slice and roll.
  8. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. If stored properly, fruit leather should keep for about one month.

 

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