So it turns out that some people start preparing for Thanksgiving a few weeks in advance. If you are one of those people, this idea is for you. For the rest of, I think you will just really enjoy this Apple, pear, and cranberry fruit leather that Meghan created. It is so GOOD. I thought it would make a fun addition to the kids table (but don't feel like you have to stop there - adults will love these too!). Get the kids to gather leaves and the older kids can write everyone's names on them. The little ones will be plenty occupied unrolling and eating their decorative treat while you're scurrying to finish pulling the stuffing out of the oven.
Apple Pear and Cranberry Fruit Leather
recipe developed by Meghan Splawn
Makes 8 servings
- 1 ½ pounds (about 3 large) ripe apples or pears – peeled, cored, and diced*
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Heat the oven to 170°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a half sheet pan with a parchment paper and set on a flat work surface; set aside. Combine the fruit, water, maple, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fruit is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
*note: We used 2 large apples and 1 pear for the leather pictured, but feel free to use all apple, all pear, or any combo thereof!
Transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend the fruit mixture on high-speed very smooth purée, about 1 minute. NOTE: When pureeing hot mixtures, always remove the small cap from the blender lid and place a kitchen towel over the top – this allows the steam to vent, without flinging puree all over your kitchen!
Pour the puree on to the prepared half sheet pan and into a smooth even layer. Be sure to leave about 2 inches around the puree on all sides and try to get the puree as even as possible. Tap the pan on the work surface a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Bake the fruit puree for 6 to 8 hours. The resulting leather should be sticky, but should not give to indention when touched. Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely.
Using the parchment paper, cut the finished fruit leather into strips, roll, and store in an airtight container. Fruit leathers can be stored for up to 3 weeks, if they last that long.
For the place setting roll-ups we tied orange baker's twine around small leaves that we wrote on with a Sharpie. Super simple, but so pretty. Meghan found that pretty cocktail napkin here. Excited to spend a month on thankfulness. Matilda is at an age where we can really discuss things and I can't wait to hear what all that little girl is thankful for. It is so lovely getting to have conversations with her. I for one am thankful for her and our daily musings.
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