Last month a friend from Mumbai brought me some Ratnagiri Mango Fruit Leather (Ratnagiri is a place that is world famous for producing Alphonso(Hapoos) mangoes). Being a mango lover I could not wait much longer and grabbed a big bite of fruit leather. Yummy!! Right? I thought so too but what I ate was a sugary dried pulp with mango flavor. I could not dare to try another bite. I thought of my childhood when real mango leather tasted so good and hence I decided to make one on my own.
This summer temperature in my city has crossed like 44C (111F) already. Probably you can do nothing good outside in such weather conditions and most of the time either you are irritating in sweat, chilling in AC or dreaming about rains. But this weather is perfect to make some sun dried mango fruit leather.
I wanted this mango fruit leather so badly, it was nostalgia of such a beautiful time when life was full of simple pleasures and less complicated.
Trust me, this is my first ever attempt But I think I did just fine. I found the process to be simple & easy and thus I decided to share.
Before we start making it, lets motivate ourselves a bit that why we must make fruit leather. This is probably the most yellow instructable of all the times :D
Step 1: Why Fruit Leather
In a world of unhealthy fast food, unnatural flavoring substances, harmful preservatives, artificial sweetners, high fructose corn syrup, Homemade sun dried fruit Leather comes to rescue as it has several benefits:
- You make it, you know what's in there.
- Its natural.
- It has no added sugar.
- It has low calories.
- It is convenient and thus an excellent snack during travel, camping & hikes etc.
- It tastes so good thus a healthier alternative to candies or other sugary stuff for kids as well as adults.
- It is a great add on to trail mix.
- Not to mention they are also packed with some vitamins.
- Easy to store for months.
Phew!! Motivated enough? Lets make some mango fruit leather.
Step 2: Stuff Required
Along with some nice , ripe, flavorful & pulpy organic mangoes (Indian varieties like Kesar, Alphonso, Dusherri are best. I used Kesar), you would need:
- 2 Stainless Steel/Glass Dinner Plates, you may even use baking trays.
- 2 Strainers (colander style) large enough to cover the plates. If you have fine mesh cloth, that would work too.
- Some ghee or butter
- Lots of Hot Sunshine :)
I will help you identify good mangoes in later steps.
Things are about to get yellow fellas ;)
Step 3: Preparations
Grab your mangoes:
- Peel them.
- If the mango is ripe uniformly it is a perfect one.
- If you notice some lightness in color , you may want to ditch this one.
- Slice peeled mangoes into smaller pieces. If the mango has brown or black pulpy spots closer to the seed, please throw that mango completely.
- In your juicer or mixer grinder, make fine pulp of the sliced mangoes and make sure there are no lumps.
Keep the pulp aside and grab the plates or tray
Pro Tip: If you want to make your fruit leather more flavorful , add a few strands of saffron and 2-3 pinches of cardamom powder .
Step 4: Drying the Pulp
This is an important step:
We have to make sure that when the pulp is dried, you should be able to take it off the tray otherwise it may get sticky and distorted.
Take a small piece of clean cloth. Pour a little ghee or butter in a small bowl. Dip very little cloth into ghee. Rub the cloth onto the plate/tray to grease it with a thin layer of ghee. I would not recommend making it too greasy as it may affect the taste.
Now pour the pulp onto to tray , spread it evenly by shaking the tray or using a kitchen spatula.
Pro Tip: If you live in a region where there is less heat or sunshine I would suggest to pour only enough pulp to make a thin layer. A thicker layer may not dry completely or become a place for bacteria to breed. You may skip the sun part and just use a dehydrator though.
Cover the trays using the strainers and place the arrangement where it gets exposed to full sun for at least 8-10 hours.
Pro Tip: If you are going to sun dry it, start making it early in the day so that you get maximum sunlight.
Step 5: Extracting the Dried Leather
If its hot like my city, you may have your mango pulp dried in 5-6 hours completely.
How do you know its ready?
Try pressing your fingers over the dried pulp, you should not feel puffy pulpy areas. And now comes the tricky part. How to extract the fruit leather?
Grab you knife and try peeling from the corners, keep peeling till you peel off all the edges such that you are able to pull it using your fingers. Now carefully start pulling in circular fashion using your fingers slowly. If you notice a tear in the leather, grab your knife to support the peel.
Voila!!! You did it. Now you cut the leather into some fancy shapes like I cut as triangles or just roll them up,
You can keep it in a glass air tight container in a refrigerator, it may last upto 3 weeks. Or keep it in freezer to enjoy it throughout year.
Enjoy your fruit leather.
Thank you for your time to read this ible. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did while making it. Please do share your thoughts, feedback and suggestions in the comments below.
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You are awesome.