‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin – but sometimes our pumpkin treats are more than a little messy. Enter portable pumpkin pie! It has all the flavor of regular pumpkin pie in a grab and go snack. It’s gluten free and free of refined sugars, too. (Confession – while I was writing this I went and grabbed some to munch on – it’s addictive.)
This recipe is adapted from Mary Bell’s Dehydrator cookbook, which is my “go to” book for all things dehydrated. I prefer to use organic spices whenever possible, as they are not irradiated or sporting excess chemicals. The flavor and aroma generally knocks the socks off the average grocery store spices, too. Mountain Rose Herbs (affiliate link) offers a great selection of organic herbs and spices, as does Frontier Natural Foods. Using homegrown pumpkin and you-pick or homegrown apples for applesauce, bulk dried coconut and honey helps make this treat budget friendly.
Portable Pumpkin Pie AKA Pumpkin Leather recipe
2 cups (one 16-ounce can) pumpkin – I used home prepared pumpkin that had been cooked and run through the Vitamix
1 cup canned evaporated milk or coconut milk (I prefer organic Thai Kitchen)
2 cups homemade applesauce (you could also use unsweetened store applesauce, but it soooo easy to make)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries or raisins
Mix all ingredients together, adjust spices if needed, but keep in mind that drying will intensify the flavors. You may want to try a test batch or half batch before adjusting. I made a half batch the first time through. When I made it the next time, I made a double batch.
Spread mixture on well oiled fruit leather sheets in dehydrator (I oil mine with coconut oil), or drop by the tablespoon to make “cookies”. If doing “cookies” leave about 1/2″ to 1″ between rounds. I spread mine in sheets because it was faster and easier, but if you liked the cookie idea you could use a pastry bag to make the cookies in a hurry. Just load your mix in and squirt away. I like to use my pastry bag for making cream puffs, too.
One half batch nearly filled two fruit roll sheets in my American Harvest snackmaster dehydrator. A double batch filled four sheets in the Excalibur dehydrator. I made two sheets plain, and sprinkled chopped cranberries over the other two sheets. I arranged the cranberries in lines on one sheet and just sprinkled them over the other, but once they were finished, cut and rolled, they didn’t look that different. Do make sure to finely chopped your raisins or cranberries, otherwise you’ll end up with sticky spots.
Dry 8 to 24 hours at around 135 F. I loaded mine at night and unloaded it the next morning.
As you can see, the mixture will darken as it dries. Cut in squares or strips. Roll up if you like. The coconut will make this recipe less sticky than some other fruit leathers.
How to Store Fruit Leather
Mary Bell recommends the following for storing fruit leathers:
Stack sheets of fruit or vegetable leathers on top of each other. If desired, and this is optional, you can sprinkle the finished sheets with cornstarch or arrowroot to prevent them from sticking together. Roll up, wrap securely in plastic wrap, and put them in an airtight container.
I’ve never dusted mine with anything, and I typically cut them into strips before storing to encourage munching of only small amounts at one time. After all, even though they’re all natural, it’s still a fair amount of concentrated sugars. I store mine in plastic bags or glass jars, in the cupboard or fridge depending on the expected length of storage time (and how much room I have in my fridge). Refrigeration will extend shelf life, but properly dried fruit sealed in airtight containers should keep for months as is.
Note: Winter squash is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin K, folate, tryptophan, copper, riboflavin, omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium. Now you have even more reasons to give this treat a try!
I’m so glad I tried out this recipe – it’s a keeper! This pumpkin leather makes a great snack food or lunch box stuffer. You can also use it to add a little extra nutrition to a hot breakfast by slipping some into your oatmeal or other hot cereal. If you don’t like coconut or dried cranberries or raisins, just leave them out.
- 2 cups (one 16-ounce can) pumpkin
- 1 cup canned evaporated milk or coconut milk
- 2 cups applesauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries or raisins
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Spread mixture on well oiled fruit leather sheets in dehydrator, or drop by the tablespoon to make “cookies”. If doing “cookies” leave about 1/2″ to 1″ between rounds.
- Dry 8 to 24 hours at around 135 F. I loaded mine at night and unloaded it the next morning.
- Cut in squares or strips. Roll up if you like. The coconut will make this recipe less sticky than some other fruit leathers.
- To Store: Stack sheets of fruit or vegetable leathers on top of each other. If desired, and this is optional, you can sprinkle the finished sheets with cornstarch or arrowroot to prevent them from sticking together. Roll up, wrap securely in plastic wrap, and put them in an airtight container.
Note: If you’re purchasing a dehydrator such as the Excalibur or Snackmaster, you should also order the fruit leather sheets. It looks like the current Snackmaster comes with one sheet, which won’t get you very far if you are drying a large amount of something like applesauce or tomato puree. The Excalibur does not include fruit leather sheets by default.
You may also enjoy:
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries
- Pumpkin Spice Scones
- Squaffles – Squash Waffles
- Pumpkin Wine
P.S. – I’m launching a HUGE group giveaway on Monday (11/10/2014) with over $1600 in prizes, including an Excalibur Dehydrator and a BlendTec Blender. Make sure to stop back to enter!
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