Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Dehydrating Hawthorn

Last year, I quite successfully dehydrated hawthorn leather.  This year, I could only remember the vague outline of how I did it, and while I did it again, I didn't do it well.

These are roadside hawthorn trees, so I needed to soak and wash the fruit several times.  Note the stalks.  Do not make the same mistake I did this time and pick the hawthorn if they are not coming away from the stalks.  Picking the stalks out is just too much hassle otherwise.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 01 - Washing

Drained for the last time.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 02 - Drained

And in a suitable bowl to be squeezed until all the flesh and skin is seperated from the stones.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 03 - Ready to mash

This was then forced through the sieve into the metal bowl, and the stones discarded.  The sieve was damaged by this process, and the stones still contain a good deal of the best part of the hawthorn when discarded.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 04 - Mashed and strained

The liquid was then spread over two trays and dehydrated.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 05 - Ready to dehydrate

And the result was this little bag of leather.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-22 - 01 - Dehydrated

So for my future attempts, this is my checklist:

  1. Pick the fruit when it separates from the stalks, leaving the stalks on the tree.
  2. Remove all the stalks from the fruit.
  3. Soak for an hour at least.
  4. Rinse and wash until the water is clear to remove dirt.
  5. Put in the bowl to be used for squeezing flesh from stone.
  6. Take stoney pulp and spread out on a large flat surface.  Pick out all the stones by hand painfully.
  7. Wash the stones in a minimal amount of water, then remove stones and discard.
  8. Combine stoneless pulp and water stones were rinsed in.
  9. Dry in the dehydrator in the thickest possible layers.
And it should produce the best possible result.

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