Dirty Gourmet is three women—Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan—who came together after a bike tour across Canada. They put together a big variety of camp meals, many of which can be found in their cookbook of the same name, with lots of different cultural and taste influences.
My brother has a huge fig tree and in the summer, it’s loaded with fruit. He hates it because it drops figs everywhere and makes a big mess. Of course I love it. I try to pick them before they rot on the ground and last year I got plenty to eat and preserve. I canned fig balsamic jam and figs in honey syrup and it has lasted us until just recently. But my favorite thing I made was this Raspberry Fig Fruit Leather. This year I failed and didn’t get over to pick figs until it was almost too late, so I didn’t get the bounty I was hoping for. Of the figs I did get, we ate some fresh and managed to make a batch of fruit leather with the rest of them.
When I’ve made fruit leather before, I’ve done it in my oven, at it’s lowest setting (170° F). There are a couple of problems that I’ve run into with making it in the oven. One, it takes forever and I feel guilty about having the oven on that long, and two, it can sometimes burn a little on the edges. This year I did it in my car. Yes, you read that right. I made fruit leather in my car. And it was great! I did it on a hot day and just stuck it on my dashboard in the morning. By the evening it was done. No guilt about having the oven on all day, and no burned edges!
I cut the fruit leather into thin strips with kitchen shears and roll it up like a Fruit by the Foot. The kids and I have just been eating it on our trips to the park, but it would be great on a day hike or a backpacking trip.
If you can’t get fresh figs anymore, don’t give up. Move on to apples and try this Apple Spice Fruit Leather.
2 cups chopped fresh figs
2 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
sugar, to taste (optional)
Food processor or blender
Silicon baking mat or microwave-safe plastic wrap
Kitchen shears or pizza cutter (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting, or have a hot car ready. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or microwave-safe plastic wrap.
2. Combine figs, raspberries, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water in a large pot. Depending on how sweet your fruit is, you may want to add a tablespoon or two of sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer until the fruit is soft. Puree the mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender.
3. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently shake the baking sheet to spread out the fruit puree.
4. Bake until the fruit is mostly dried out, but still a little sticky.
5. Cool completely and then cut into strips. Store in a tightly sealed container.