Post aus meiner Küche (Mail from my kitchen) – that is: a brilliant idea of the three German blogging ladies Clara, Jeanny and Rike to share culinary treats and connect with each other. You are swapping homemade goodies, fitting to a given theme, with a partner. It is all about cooking and baking, wrapping and giving with love. And it is not only giving but at the same time being presented … from a unknown person with an unknown homemade present. Exciting!
The first theme – that I sadly missed – was Schokoladig (chocolaty). You can have a look at all those chocolate treats – they range from syrup to cookies, spreads, chocoalate salt or lip balm – as well as the cute wrapping ideas on the Post-aus-meiner-Küche pinterest boards.
I didn’t want to miss the second mailing round, so, when the theme was announced I immediately registered to take part at this exciting swap of homemade goods. Very berry was/is the theme – seasonly inspired. My decision what to cook or bake was clear quite early: fruit leather rolls with different kinds of berries – a thing I wanted to give a try for quite a while, a healthy snack packed with concentrated fruit/berry flavour.
Although I read some recipes it turned out that I had to figure some things out for myself to end up with a satisfying result. The way went over way to crisp fruit leather (which didn’t deserve the name) over some o.k. fruit leather to the final yummy one. What turned out to be crucial is the temperature on one hand (50°C, or the lowest you can go with your oven), and the consistency and thickness of the fruit purée on the other hand. The fruits should be cooked till they have the texture of jam. The time you need therefor depends on the amount of water in your fruit or berries. My blueberry-banana mixture f.ex. took less time than the strawberry-tomato one. It should be spread on the baking tray not quite as thick as a finger. The rest of the show consists mainly of waiting…
You could choose about every fruit or fruit combination you like. I went for blueberries combined with bananas and a dash of cardamom and another one combining strawberries, fresh tomato and a hint of basil for some extravagance. The first needed a bit more tartness, the latter a bit of sugar. But it is totally up to you if you wish to sweeten your fruit or not. Just keep in mind that not only the flavour but also the sweetness concentrates when drying.
There are a few ways to proceed with your finished fruit leather. It can be sprinkled with some chopped nuts, cut into rhombs or squares, cut into thin stripes and twisted f.ex. around a spoon handle… I cut them into retangles about 2cm x 6cm and rolled each of them up lengthwise between a (a little bit bigger) retangle of wax paper. These rolls finally were fixed with washi tape.
A task I had to complete before starting this project was to get hold of some wax paper. If you’re American you probably knitting your brows. Yes, it is not common around here and really difficult to get. I finally found some at Manufaktum which advertises wax paper as a nostalgic retro kitchen accessory…
Of course, not only my very berry present took my attention. I was also ambitious to wrap this really nice for my swap partner Sylke, after I’ve seen so much beautiful packaging. I stayed with the two berry colours red and blue and used some colourful tissue paper and bakers twine. The tags are made of those wallpaint colour palette stripes you get in the home improvement store (I took some with me on my last visit.). Oh yes, and I used my Dymo, as well as some cut out strawberries from an old magazine. As you can see, I wasn’t concentrated enough at all points of wrapping … very berry verry bery … spelling can be kind of confusing.
Anyway, Sylke, I hope the mail from my kitchen pleases you. I enjoyed cooking and wrapping and I’m already curious about the next theme for Post aus meiner Küche. Thanks to Clara, Jeanny and Rike for their organizational effort!
version1: 600 g strawberries, 2 tomatoes (ca. 200g) , 1 tablespoon chopped basil, 2 tablespoons sugar
version 2: 250 g blueberries, 3 bananas, dash of cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
Halfen tomatoes and remove seeds. Roughly chop fruits and berries if needed. Combine in a large pot. Bring to cook over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The mixture should have reached a viscous consistency similar to jam.
Mix in the food processor or strain through a fine colander if you want all the seeds to be removed.
Pour and spread fruit purée over baking tray layed out with baking paper or silicon baking mat.
Dry at 50°C for 8-10 hours until leather isn’t sticky anymore and peels away. Let the oven door be a little bit open to let the moist out.
Cut fruit leather into strips (scissors work best) and roll up between pieces of wax paper while they’re still warm.
Keep at a cool and dark place.