Thursday, August 13, 2009

Making Fruit Leather

During free afternoons I've been making fruit leather with apricots and plums. (While we were gone to Utah the birds ate our apricots, so thanks Jenny, for finding me another source of free apricots this year!)

Here's a quick "how to make fruit leather" for anyone who may want to know....

1. Let your fruit get good and ripe for the best flavor. These aren't quite ripe.
2. Take out the pits and cut away any gross parts on the fruit.

3. Fill up your blender with fruit and blend until smooth. I don't add sugar and my kids love the flavor just fine. Homemade fruit leather is one of their favorite snacks.
4. Spread the puree thickly, on trays that have been lightly coated with vegetable oil. My trays look like this:Want to see what happens when you forget the oil? I missed a tray when I was doing a big batch and we had to pick the leather off in little tiny bits. What a pain.
(By the way, if you are using a square dehydrator you will need to tape plastic wrap to your trays because they don't come with these handy plastic trays. I grew up with a square dehydrator, but I have to say I've found the round dehydrators more user friendly and it seems they are cheaper too. I've seen them at Wal-mart in the 30 dollar range. I was lucky and had my dehydrators handed down from my great-grandma and found another at a garage sale.)

5. Dehydrate for roughly 24 hours. You know it's done when you press the trays with your fingers and don't feel soft or squishy spots. The color of the fruit will be darker now- that's okay. This is how it usually looks:6. Peel the leather off, (which should be easy because you remembered to oil your trays!), and roll up in plastic wrap. Fruit leather can be stored for months and months and months- though your kids will probably eat it up much sooner. :-) Try different combinations with whatever fruit you have on hand. I've done peach-plum, apple, cherry, strawberry-apricot, etc. Our personal favorites are apricot and plum because they are tart. Mmmmm....yum!


EllaJac said...

I did this last year with peaches. Only I used big cookie sheets lined with oiled parchment paper. I put my oven on lowest (170?) and did 3 pans overnight. Worked like a charm! Especially considering I only have ONE fruit-leather tray thingy for the dehydrator..

sariah said...

Good idea EllaJac. I happen to have 11 fruit leather tray thingies- I don't know where they all came from. So are you trying the castor oil yet?

HeatherS said...

Can you put more than one fruit leather tray in the dehydrator at one time?

sariah said...

Yes, currently I have 10 trays of plum leather drying on one dehydrator base. It would probably dry faster if I got the other base out, but they still dry out in 24 hours, or so.

MisoMama said...

I remember eating this all the time as a kid.