Tuesday, September 08, 2009

How to Make Homemade Fruit Leather

How to Make Homemade Fruit LeatherQuite a few years ago in a fit of domesticity I learned how to can fruit. Apricots and cherries were my weapons of choice but it wasn't really that cost-effective. We don't get the stuff fresh off the tree here and the shipping costs make it expensive enough that you don't necessarily save that much money by canning your own fruit but that's another post for another day.

The point is, I had about 50 jars of fruit and while we ate some of it, I found that my children weren't that big on canned cherries and apricots. Andrew didn't care for them and they sat in my cupboard gathering dust but too precious to throw out.

By now the fruit was getting old and past its prime but still . . . throwing it out didn't seem the right thing to do.

Instead I pureed it and made it into fruit leather. It really couldn't be easier. Once you have the puree you can either make it in your oven or in a dehydrator (we happen to have a dehydrator left over from a time when Andrew thought he wanted to learn how to dehydrate his meals into lightweight packages for all those backpacking trips he'd be taking).

I spread the puree on a plastic disc made for our dehydrator then turned the machine on. A few hours later . . . fruit leather and the kids loved it.

If you do it in your oven you can spread the puree on aluminum foil over a cookie sheet and let it bake at about 140 degrees for six hours, or until it looks done (don't overbake or it gets crispy). If you're worried about it sticking you can zap the aluminum foil with a shot of cooking spray but it should be fine without it. Once the fruit leather is done, snip it into servings with some scissors and roll it up in plastic wrap. It's very healthy and filling.

I've got a recipe for rhubarb fruit leather that I've been meaning to try though I have to add some sugar. Goodness knows I have enough rhubarb!

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11 comments:

Allen said...

While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

Rachel C. said...

I love rhubarb! I wish I had too much!!! I make a strawberry rhubarb cake and also a rhubarb punch. It has grapefruit juice, lemon juice and 7-up or ginger ale (plus sugar, grapefruit and rhubarb need that!!!).

Elizabeth said...

Great post on what I call rhubarb candy.

Pam D said...

I love the idea on fruit leather! I have a dehydrator upstairs that I planned to use to make jerky, but somehow that fell by the wayside. Making my own fruit leather AND jerky would make it worthwhile to bring it down. Turkey jerky with a side of strawberry fruit leather, anyone?

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Thanks, I'm so glad you posted this. I have fruit I need to do something with and now will tomorrow.

Daisy said...

I've been considering a dehydrator. My freezer is small, and I would really like to expand on preserving the fruits (and vegetables) of summer. There's the rhubarb in the backyard, too....

Inkling said...

Do you know how old is too old? I've got some applesauce left over from 2007, but am not sure if I should make fruit leather with it or throw it out. I'd hate to toss it, but don't really know. What do you think?

Lori said...

Did you get to set it and forget it?

I've always wanted to dehydrate veggies my son loves jicama that way but I always burn it in the oven!

Anonymous said...

My kids also love fruit leather and are not even embarassed to take it to school. I usually buy cheap unsweetened applesauce, then add *whatever* pureed fruit to it (sometimes baby food). But I love the idea of using up canned fruit that's past its primes. Hmmm time to look at the canning shelves...

Andrea McMann said...

Thanks for the tips! I've tried to make fruit leather once, but it turned out crispy, and not at all good. Rhubarb fruit leather sounds delish!

SnoWhite said...

may I ask what kind of dehydrator you have?