Remove seeds, core and skin. Vitaminise the pulp - spread thinly on gladwrap covering your drying trays. You can add flavouring if liked and a little gelatine or apple (contains pectin) for quicker drying, but it is not necessary. Turn soursop after 24 hours and dry another 12 hours (using small electric dryer).

With fruit leathers you can mix several fruits together. You can also add, after blending, chopped nuts or dates or cinnamon powder. Guavas or tomatoes are good for leathers and only need to be mashed. The result is not leathery but scrumptious.

When dry, break leathers into small pieces. Dry out completely (3 days) in a large airy colander and then store in a non-metal airtight container. It's OK to store in a paper bag and then into metal. I prefer glass - if you see any condensation on the jar immediately return to dryer for a short time. Practice makes perfect, but in 50 jars of dried fruit I only had one that had to be returned to dryer. Store jars in a cool, dark place. I prefer to put a cloth over the jars. Leathers do not keep for many months but for lunch snacks they get eaten quickly.

Fruit dried in strips will keep for years if you don't need to eat them. If you have surplus fruit or can buy it cheap a dryer is a good investment.

Marjorie Spear

DATE: July 1981

* * * * * * * * * * * * *