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I don't know what it is I'm doing (IE, the name of the technique or dish) I can't research it.

I cook either rhubarb or passion fruit with a few tablespoons of sugar, blend until very smooth, spread out very thinly on a baking mat and then cook on a low temperate. (The cooking - I assume - caramelizes the sugars.)

The desired result is a pliant thin sheet of fruit flavor (which is what I want).

I've also ended up with a gooey mess that can't be used (undercooked), or a bitter overcooked disaster. The issue I have with it (when I get the cooking time right) is that it is really chewy. Like a caramel or toffee, it gets stuck in your teeth which is totally undesirable.

Does any one know what the name of I'm trying to cook?

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By marking accepted answer too quickly you may miss out on better answers, wait a day or too and see what happens! –  TFD Sep 14 '12 at 9:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is called fruit leather. But I have never made it and cannot comment on how to make it less chewy. I have eaten it though, and if my memory serves me right it was quite chewy and it most definitely got stuck in my teeth. Maybe it cannot be avoided.

Also, if you are cooking it at a low temperature (I assume you are well below the boiling point) the sugars will not caramelize. (EDIT: Apparently, sugars will caramelize at low temperatures, but it will take a long time, see the comment by jkadlubowska below) For that, much higher temperatures are needed. You are simply drying out the purée to the point where it becomes "leathery". From a bit of googling it seems that 140 degrees F is the correct oven temperature to use.

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Thank you so much for this. I will now search everywhere and possibly ask a different question! Thank you. –  Dave Rook Sep 14 '12 at 9:10
    
    
That is way cool! I did not know that. –  Henrik Söderlund Oct 1 '12 at 10:19
    
I have edited my answer to reflect this, new to me, information. –  Henrik Söderlund Oct 1 '12 at 11:02

Use a dehydrator designed for fruit leather (it will have non-stick trays with very small perforations, so water can escape, but fruit pulp stays in place

Adjust sugar level to adjust chewyness

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