Homemade fruit leather brings me back to summers as a kid when my mom would make fruit leather for us and we would devour it as fast as she made it. I like to do this in the summer when we have extra fruit available from our orchard or from whatever is in season: strawberries, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, apples, etc. This is also great though to do with frozen fruit that you might have that needs to be used up before it gets too much of a freezer burn. So let me show you how I make fruit leather.
I don’t really follow a recipe and I just wing it when I make my fruit leather but I’ve written everything down in a recipe below so that those that want something specific to follow can print this out.
First you will need a food dehydrator and silicone dehydrator sheets (I did also use the oven as an alternative). This is what my mom used growing up and that’s how I have always made my fruit leather. My dehydrator is used for a variety of drying throughout the harvest season. A food dehydrator is very versatile and it’s a great way to preserve your summer harvest of vegetables, fruits and herbs. It can also be used to make dried meat jerky.
To start making fruit leather take four cups of frozen (mostly-thawed and drained) or fresh fruit and place in a blender. I have multiple trays in my dehydrator so that’s why my fruit amount is larger. And then I also like to add a little sweetness to my fruit leather by adding some of our homemade canned applesauce. If you want to do the same but don’t have homemade applesauce just look for low sugar or no-sugar applesauce. My kids are not fans of just plain applesauce but once I add it into the fruit leather it creates a nicer texture and they don’t mind it.
If you are using a fruit that has seeds you will need to decide if you want to remove the seeds. I don’t remove the seeds because it just takes more work but this is a personal preference. I know some people don’t like raspberry or blackberry seeds. And so I just keep the seeds in, and we eat it with the seeds and it still tastes the same. You can use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the seeds.
Once you’ve got it all blended together lightly spray your dehydrator sheets with a little bit of olive oil spray and use a silicone brush to wipe down each tray. Try not to get it too heavily oiled otherwise your fruit leather will be really oily. And then go ahead and pour your fruit mixture onto each trays and gently spread it around with a spatula. When pouring try not to get too thick, as it will take forever to dehydrate.
Once all the trays are filled, put the top on your dehydrator, and then let it do its magic! I set my temperature at around 250. And then I check it after usually two hours. The drying time will depend on how thick the fruit leather was when poured onto the trays. I also did a batch in the oven if you don’t have a food dehydrator. I did the oven batch at 250 degrees for about 1.5 hours. (I am not a big fan of the oven as the edges were more burnt that that of the dehydrator).
Then once it’s done (it will be dry to the touch) all I do is tear each sheet of fruit leather in half, and then I roll it up with saran wrap and have rolls to put in the pantry and it never lasts very long.
Homemade Fruit Leather
A quick, easy and health snack
- 4 cups frozen or fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc)
- 2 cups sweetened or unsweetened applesauce
If your fruit is frozen be sure to thaw it before starting
Combine fruit and applesauce in blender (apple juice can be used if you don't have applesauce)
Oil silicone dehydrator sheets or baking sheet if you don't have a dehydrator
Once blended pour generous amount onto silicone dehydrator sheets or onto baking sheet
Place dehydrator or oven at 250 degrees and dry for about 2 hours, checking dryness as time goes so it does not over-dry.