Fruit Leather, round two!

The autumn olive crew (6 adults, 6 children) processed the berries picked a few days ago using the same techniques applied in the first round. We first simmered the berries for twenty minutes, then began mashing the softened fruit through fine screens. This step in the process becomes quite a bit of work with large quatities of berries…I think we would all recommend investing in a food mill or two!

Next we added what amounted to 5 tablespoons of honey to the freshly pressed pulp, stirred in, and poured into trays lined with parchment paper. The liquid was dried in an oven at 140 degrees for about 9 hours.
Challenges:
The leather sticks to the parchment paper, in some cases like super glue! The solution to this is to flip the dried leather over and brush water gentle over the backside. This moistens the paper and loosens it from the leather. During this part of the process, we also noticed that the dry parts of the leather could easily be rehydrated.
The hand pressing part was manageable for the small quantity at hand. If larger quantities are processed, a food mill is recommended.
The children really enjoyed mashing the berries through the screen, but this quickly wore out. The same thing happens when picking large quantities of berries. There’s only so much time a young child will give to this effort. Of course at the other end, the fruit leather end, they are all eyes, ears, and mouths!
Performance stats.
-18 cups of berries in one hour of picking (9 pounds of berries), or 36 servings (1 serving = 1/2 cup).
-This produces 300 sq. inches of fruit leather, 1/8″ thick. This results in about 15 pieces of fruit leather, 2.5″x 5″ each (each rollup being 2 servings of fruit).
Nutrition:
Serving size: 100g(1/2 cup) Calories196
Protein: 3 grams
Vitamin A : varying amounts from shrub to shrub
Vitamin C: 9 mg
Lycopene = 17 x more than tomatoes
The berries contain the same carotenoids as tomato: lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein. The big difference is in the lycopene levels. They range from 15 to 54mg per 100g, compared to an average 3mg/100g for fresh tomatoes, 10mg/100g for canned tomatoes, and 30mg/100g for tomato paste.
After the fruit squishing was complete, after the pulp was poured into trays, it was time to shake a leg! We played some music and the kids unloaded whatever energy they had left.