Elderflower season is upon us here in the UK, and the hedgerows are bursting with these fragrant flowers.
Much prized for their beautiful scent and flavour it is said that if you fall asleep under an Elder tree in full bloom that the fairies will carry you off.
We are lucky enough to have some elderflower blooming in the garden right next to my rhubarb, and it was seeing the two next to each other that inspired this recipe.
Fruit leather is simply fruit puree dried out into a sheet as a method of preservation. You can use any combination you like. I often use cooking apples as a base as they are relatively cheap and readily available. Soft fruits such as strawberries and mango can just be pureed without the initial cooking which makes the process even easier.
My kids absolutely love fruit leather, we make it often, and I have shared the process of making it with you before. If you would like more detail on the process than I am going into here check out our Stinging Nettle, Apple and Pear Fruit Leather or our slightly grosser version Edible Fruit Scabs which are great fun for Halloween. It really is a simple, healthy snack to make, and vastly superior to the over-priced shop bought varieties.
I used 5 large cooking apples, about 8 stems of rhubarb and 5 heads of elderflower. I also added the juice of a lemon, and a little water before cooking it down into a puree. Once cooked, I removed the elderflower stalks and sweetened it to taste. My personal preference is to use a little sugar – in this case about 2 dessert spoons, but you can use whatever sweetener you prefer.
I always use food wrap to line the baking trays that I dry it on as I find the finished leather peels off much more easily than with paper. Pour the purée on to the sheet and stick it into a cool oven set it as low as you can to dry out. This batch took about 6 hours to dry out.
Once dry, roll the sheet up and cut it into strips. Fruit leather should last for a year in a cool, dark place.