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D.I.Y.: Homemade Fruit Leather

Fruit leather is one of those foods that — once you realize how incredibly easy it is to make yourself — you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Other than a long stint in the oven, there is little labor involved, no special equipment, and sky’s-the-limit in terms of flavor possibilities! I love that you can control the sweetness too, and use whatever fruits you have on-hand (or an excess of).

Best of all, much like roasting, dehydrating concentrates flavors and enhances a fruit’s natural sweetness — making even the most lackluster produce taste rich and delicious!

I’m going to take you step-by-step through the process, and share one of my favorite recipes to get you started! As the basic technique is the same, I have no doubt you’ll be creating your own “custom” blends in no time!

  • Make Your Own Fruit Leather! 1 of 9
    homemade fruit leather

    With just a little hands-on time and no special skills or equipment, you can make your very own (and very delicious) fruit leather!

  • Prep Your Fruit 2 of 9
    diy fruit leather, peeled apples

    If you're starting with applesauce or canned pumpkin, no prep is necessary. But fresh fruit needs to be chopped, pitted, and in the case of apples and stone fruits, peeled.

  • How to Peel a Peach! 3 of 9
    diy fruit leather, peaches

    Easiest way to peel a peach? Cut an "X" in the bottoms. Submerge each peach in boiling water for 30 seconds; remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water. The skins will slip right off!

  • Puree the Fruit 4 of 9
    diy fruit leather, chopped peaches

    Next puree your fruit(s) and sweeteners and other ingredients till smooth. If using strawberries, you can strain the seeds if you like.

  • Bake Till Dehydrated 5 of 9
    diy fruit leather

    After you've cooked your mixture down (to eliminate much of the moisture), you're ready to bake. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or piece of parchment paper, shake the pan to level and bake. Depending on your fruit, this will take anywhere from 3-5 hours. 

    How do you know when the fruit leather is ready? When it is just slightly sticky but not dry.

    Cool fruit leather for about 10 minutes. If you lined your baking sheet with parchment paper you can cut the dried fruit into your desired shapes. If you used a Silpat, place a sheet of parchment (cut to the size of your baking sheet) on your work surface. Carefully invert the fruit and Silpat onto the parchment and peel the Silpat away.

  • Cut Into Shapes! 6 of 9
    diy fruit leather,

    You can cut the fruit leather into rectangles (about 8 per sheet) or "roll-ups" (about 13 per sheet).

  • Roll and Wrap! 7 of 9
    fruit leather

    Tie the rolls with a little baker's twine and they're ready to go!

  • A Healthier Snack! 8 of 9
    diy fruit leather

    Fruit leather keeps very well in an airtight container. Toss a few in a lunchbox or cooler for a homemade "fruit snack" you can feel good about!

  • Apple Strawberry Fruit Leather! 9 of 9
    diy fruit leather, apple strawberry fruit leather

    I love this spring-meets-fall version, taking end of the season apples and pairing them with early spring strawberries. A little tart, a little sweet, and naturally sweetened with honey!

Read more from Sheri on Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
Follow Donuts, Dresses and Dirt on Facebook and Twitter for updates

Strawberry-Apple Fruit Leather

adapted from Foodlets

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3-5 hours

Ingredients

1 lb. strawberries, stemmed
1 apple (use any that you have on-hand), peeled and chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 T. honey

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 170. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Place strawberries, apple and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Puree till mixture is smooth and uniform. Transfer to a small saucepan and add the honey. Heat to boiling and simmer for about 20 minutes, till somewhat reduced.  Pour onto your prepared baking sheet; shake the pan to level.

Bake until dehydrated, about 3 hours (puree should be just slightly sticky but not dry). Let cool for 10 minutes.

If you lined your baking sheet with parchment you can cut the dried fruit into desired shapes. If you used a Silpat, place a sheet of parchment (cut to the size of your baking sheet) on your work surface. Carefully invert the fruit and Silpat onto the parchment and peel the Silpat away.

Cut into eight rectangles, or about 13 crosswise “strips.” Roll up with the parchment and tie with twine or baker’s string. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month.

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