Rhubarb Three Ways (Part 4: Drying)

The third and final way we preserved rhubarb at Food Preservation Drop In (Week #1) was to make it into fruit leather!

Dehydration is less energy intensive that freezing or canning, and properly dried foods can store for a year or more (depending on the food). There are many ways to dry foods, including using the air, the sun, a dehydrator, or an oven. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and some methods are better for different foods. The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest and The Solar Food Dryer are two great resources for more information.

This was my first attempt at fruit leather, so I was flying by the seat of my pants. I stewed the rhubarb with some of the last of last year’s saskatoons until somewhat thickened, and sweetened with honey to taste. Then I pureed the mixture in the blender and poured it onto parchment paper*, trying to keep the thickness as even as possible (1/4-1/8 inch), except for at the edges, where I made it thicker to account for faster drying.

I dried it for a couple of hours, until it was dry enough to pull off the parchment paper and flip over. I continued drying the second side until it was dry and leathery. To stack layers of leather or to roll it, dust cornstarch on it to avoid sticking.

It’s tart and will make a good snack! Not bad for a first attempt at fruit leather.

*Different sources recommend drying fruit leather on wax paper, plastic wrap, parchment paper and freezer paper, so I chose wax paper at random and dried one tray as a trial. Thankfully I didn’t use wax paper for all of it, because in my electric dehydrator the fruit leather fused to the wax paper and refused to peel off. Next, I experimented with each of the other options, and found that the leather also stuck to freezer paper, but did successfully peel off of parchment paper and plastic wrap. (I feel the need to research both further to understand better which is the least toxic.)

Part 1: Sourcing & Harvesting
Part 2: Freezing Rhubarb
Part 3: Canning Rhubarb

4 thoughts on “Rhubarb Three Ways (Part 4: Drying)

  1. I look forward to trying this. I like to use my car as a solar oven to do the dehydrating. I’ve used squash as well as other fruit for fruit leather, but never rhubarb. Thanks for the idea.

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