Try These Hacks to Make Perfect Leather Every Time
If your fruit leather buckles or cracks in the middle, resulting in big fissures instead of remaining one continuous sheet, try these hacks.
Puréed Thickness Perfection
The desired consistency of purée that is most suitable for drying into leather is that of applesauce. The cracks can occur because there is more liquid juice than fruit pulp. When I make leathers, I always add very ripe bananas or my homemade applesauce or apple powder into the purée. This thickens and sweetens the leathers.
- Resist the temptation to pour extra-thick purée. The leather will crack and not dry out properly.
- I find 2 cups of purée is plenty for 15X17-inch Excalibur-type trays
- 15-inch Nesco-type trays do well with 1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups of purée.
Heating Difficulties with Different Dehydrators
Set your dehydrator to a lower heat for the first few hours then when you are sure your leathers are not going to crack you can turn the heat all the way up to 140°F/60°C.
- It generally takes 12 or more hours to produce dried fruit leather sheets if you are experiencing high humidity (50% or higher.)
- Turn over your leathers halfway through when the top of the leather is solid to help with faster drying. They can actually be turned over onto your bare trays when this has occurred.
Even Spread of Purée
The more evenly purée is spread, the more evenly it will dry. Make sure the edges aren’t too thin, otherwise they will get hard and crack before the center is done.
Using an offset spatula helps, as does tamping your trays gently on the countertop.
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