Leftover Jelly or Jam Spreads Make Great Fruit Leathers
Fruit leather is a chewy, dried fruit product, much like Fruit Roll-ups, that you can make at home with your dehydrator. Fruit leathers are made by pouring puréed fruit onto a flat surface for drying. When dried, the fruit is pulled from the surface and rolled. It gets the name “leather” from the fact that when puréed fruit is dried, it is shiny and has the texture of leather. Loved by kids of all ages, these are easy to make and quite tasty!
Wondering what to do with older preserves from the previous year you’ve found at the back of the pantry? With a dehydrator, some applesauce and jam or jelly, you can easily make your own delicious fruit leathers! There were a number of people wondering if they could use jellies and jams to make their fruit leathers, so I experimented with this concept and arrived at a nice mix that was not too sugary and that stored as well as my other recipes. I found that a ratio of 2 parts applesauce to 1 part jelly or jam did the trick!
For this recipe you will need 1 quart/liter (32 ounce/ 946 ml) of unsweetened applesauce, either store-bought or homemade, your choice. For the jelly or jam, a 16 ounce/ 473 ml size jar or 1 pint jar will work. There is no limit to the flavors and textures you can come up with for these fruit leathers.
Jelly or jam works well. You can use sweetened applesauce as well but if there is a lot of sugar in your jelly or jam, the result will be very sweet, candy-like fruit leather. Kids and adults with a sweet tooth will definitely like this combo. Preserves and jams make a chewier, chunkier textured fruit leather, and jelly makes a smoother, candy-like fruit leather.
To learn about making fruit leathers in general, see Fruit Roll Ups Recipe.
For hacks to keep your leathers from sticking, see Food Stuck to Dehydrator Trays?
To make Fruit Leather in your oven, see Making Fruit Leathers in Your Oven.
To handle cracks and buckles in your Fruit Leathers, see Cracks in Your Fruit Leathers?
To read our best tips & tricks, see Fruit Leather Perfection Secrets.
Jelly/Jam Fruit Leather
This recipe makes:
3 full fruit leather trays for Excalibur-type dehydrators (box-shaped) or
4 full 15-inch fruit leather trays for Nesco-type dehydrators (round-shaped)
4 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 cups grape jelly (or any flavor you want)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional depending on sweetness)
- Using blade attachment in the food processor, blend ingredients until fruit until is smooth (or use a high-powered blender, processing in batches).
- Fruit leathers can be poured into a single large sheet (13″ X 15″) or into several smaller sizes. Spread purée evenly, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick, onto solid drying tray or line rimmed bare trays with a good grade of parchment paper. An offset spatula will help with evenness. Tamp the trays lightly on the countertop to help even out as well.
- Avoid pouring purée too close to the edge of the trays. The larger fruit leathers take longer to dry. Approximate drying times are 6 to 8 hours in a dehydrator, up to 18 hours in an oven.
- Dry fruit leathers at 140°F/60°C. Flip the leathers halfway through to speed drying. Leather dries from the outside edge toward the center. Test for dryness by touching center of leather; no indentation should be evident.
- While warm, peel from trays and roll, allow to cool. Rewrap the roll in plastic or parchment after cutting with a pizza cutter or kitchen scissors. Cookie cutters are used to cut out shapes that children will enjoy.
Store in an airtight container. Chances are the fruit leather will not last long enough for storage. If it does, it will keep up to 1 month at room temperature.
For storage up to 1 year, place tightly wrapped rolls in the freezer.
To access lots of great Fruit Leather Recipes and to read our best tips & tricks for your own Fruit Leather Perfection Secrets, order our eBook “Fruit Leather (Roll-up) Recipes & Hacks“.
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