Rhubarb is a strange fruit/vegetable thing. Technically, it is a vegetable but it cooks out with a sweetness that pairs it well for jellies, jams and mostly notably PIE. I opted out of the traditional preparations this time and tried a food experiment. Today, I tried to make rhubarb fruit roll-ups or fruit leather. Tried is the key word of the day. I tried.
If you have been hanging around Fresh Veggies for a while, you might remember that last year I had great success with rhubarb pineapple upside down cupcakes. I managed to make them while camping, no less. Click that link if you would like to try rhubarb. Keep reading here if you want to see my latest fail. Fails are more fun, right? Keep reading …
I think rhubarb is kind of pretty, don’t you? The plants grow to a decent size. They are actually fairly impressive if you get to see one in real life.
I started by chopping up the rhubarb and just boiling it down to a mushy syrupy mess. At this point, most people add sugar. I decided to be “healthy” and try it without the added sugar. Mistake #1. If you attempt this, add sugar. Just do it.
I saved the liquid from this boiled down mess. It has most of the natural sugars and I am going to use it for a fruit salad dressing later. Stay tuned for another post … a hopefully, more successful execution of edible food.
The mush was a little bit stringy (like celery) so I used the hand blender to make it smoother. My research on fruit leather suggested that I use a silicone mat to cook the goo on in the over. This is a wise choice. One of my only wise choices in this food experiment. I baked the first batch of fruit goo overnight as low as the oven would go, as suggested by several recipes.
Here’s a shot of the crispy concoction I discovered in the morning. Fail. Crispy, crunchy, burnt fail.
Lucky for you (or not), I had more fruit goo to try, try again. The next batch was cooked on super low for only a few hours. More like, four hours. It dried nicely and came out in traditional fruit leather style.
However, it tasted like tangy, slightly bitter shoe leather. Looking at this photo makes me think it looks like corned beef. I wish it had tasted more like corned beef. I regret even tasting it. Bleck. I do not recommend this recipe. Again, try the cupcakes from last year if you would like a good rhubarb recipe. HERE
Or, hang in there, I plan on a fruit salad later this week … that sounds good.
Do you like rhurbarb? Want to share a FAIL? Please leave a comment and make me feel better about ruining an entire batch of rhubarb.