I had not even realized that there is a cherry season here in the Hudson Valley but, thanks to a fortuitous Facebook post by a friend, we spent a few hours picking the most gorgeous sweet cherries at Fix Brother’s Fruit Farm in Hudson last weekend. It was a glorious morning – clear and sunny with a nice breeze that kept us from getting too hot. The cherries hung like jewels from the trees with a beautiful backdrop of bright blue skies.
Our small son basically ate his weight in cherries by using his mouth as his bucket – it’s highly efficient and probably saved us a few dollars when we went to pay since they did not ask us to plunk him on the scale… By the end of the outing, he looked like he’d committed some sort of grisly murder (luckily, I had some wipes in the car). He had a ball! The only downside was that we did have to change quite a few more yucky diapers than usual over the next day or so as the fruit made its way through his digestive system.
Then we spent the rest of the day making things with those cherries — namely, cherry pie, pickled cherries from the new Food in Jars cookbook and this here cherry fruit leather. (The other recipes will be coming soon.)
My husband and I had thumbed through a variety of cookbooks for inspiration before we headed out to the farm since we wanted to get a sense of how much we’d need to pick (and what kind) for various projects.
We were drawn to the fruit leather recipe in Sherri Brooks Vinton’s excellent book, Put ‘em Up! in part because it was so simple and in part because our son loves fruit leathers and we were intrigued by the idea of making our own.
We don’t have a food dehydrator (yet) but this recipe just calls for you to bake the leather on a cookie sheet at very low heat in the oven for a few hours.
The resulting fruit leathers are beautiful and very delicious – sweet and intensely flavorful. I think I would use a little less sugar than the 1/2 cup Sherri’s recipe called for next time, depending on the sweetness of the fruit I was using.
Next: Get the recipe!