Following up on yesterday’s fruit prep, we finished making our first batch of fruit leather today. As I mentioned before, you can use nearly any combination of fruit that you like, as long as it forms a puree that is thick enough to work with. You can also get twisted and add veggies to the mix. I used a Foley Food Mill to purée a mix of apples and plums from our trees. I made the puree during the day and dried it overnight. Forgive the funny color of these photos; I took them in the nighttime in a light-bulb lit kitchen, and I think this mix could have benefited from some lemon juice or citric acid to retain the more vibrant purple color of the plums.
To make your fruit leather, simply spread fruit purée onto parchment paper on dehydrator trays. I used a rubber spatula to do this, but I’m sure any wide spoon or spatula would have worked just as well. If you’re using the oven to dehydrate your fruit, use parchment paper on oven trays. You want it to be about 1/4” thick if possible, which may require building it up a bit to ensure it’s not too thin on the edges.
Place in food dehydrator and set to about 145 degrees. We use the Excalibur Dehydrator with nine trays, allowing us to dehydrate lots at once. If you are using your oven, set it to the lowest temperature possible. For your dehydrator, check for doneness at 6-8 hours. For your oven, check at 4-6. Continue drying if it’s still too tacky.
When done, remove, cool, cut into strips, and peel paper off the back. Store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. You can also keep the paper on to help prevent sticking.