One of my favorite treats when I was a kid was eating a fruit roll-up and for the most part I don’t ever buy them for my own kids. There is just too much sugar and artificial ingredients for me to offer it. But my kids were thrilled when I told them that we were going to make fruit leather from the leftover peach-applesauce that I had made the week before.
Lucky for me my husband likes to make his own jerky so our kitchen is stocked with a dehydrator. Although a quick online search delivered results for a low and slow oven baked version too. However, I simply pulled out the machine and read through the detailed book that accompanied it. I thought why not give it a shot and see how this turns out.
I learned that most fruit does not need much preparation for it to be tasty as a fruit leather, however if your fruit is not quite ripe you might choose to add sugar to the puree. Just be careful on how much you add. If you add too much or spread your fruit too thin it might become brittle after dehydration.
1. Spread fruit puree about 1/4-inch thick on parchment paper strips that are lain on your baking sheets or dehydrator. Try to make the leather as even as possible so that it dehydrates at the same rate throughout.
2. Food Dehydrator Instructions for Nesco Professional: After stacking all of your trays with fruit leather, turn the dial to 135 degrees and plug it in. It should take approximately 4-8 hours depending on the weather conditions and thickness of the leather. When it’s done it will no longer be sticky when you touch it. My leather was moderate thickness, but weather was humid and it took 7 hours.
3. To store the leather it’s best to let it cool, and then cut the leather that has adhered to the parchment into more narrow strips keeping the parchment attached. Then roll each strip up and store in an airtight container for about 10 days at room temperature.
NOTE: One cup of fruit puree will make approximately 4 large (4×8 inches) fruit leathers.