Sweet-Tart with a Punch of Color
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!
Strawberries are much more tart than sweet, tropical mangos. So while I was able to make mango fruit leather with almost no added sugar, I knew that I would not be able to get away with that here. A large mango will yield about 1 cup of pulp, so 2 large mangos will fill this recipe. If you purchase a pint plastic container of whole strawberries it will yield about 2 cups of sliced berries that weigh about 3/4 of a pound. The banana is added to thicken and the lemon juice brightens up the flavor as well as keeping the colors from darkening.
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?
Mango Strawberry Fruit Leather
This recipe makes:
2 full fruit leather trays for Excalibur-type dehydrators (box-shaped) or
3 full 15-inch fruit leather trays for Nesco-type dehydrators (round-shaped)
2 cups chopped mango (about 2 large mangoes)
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen strawberries (about 1 pint)
1 large very ripened banana (about 1 cup mashed)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Select ripe or slightly overripe fruit. Wash fresh fruit in cool water. Remove peel, large seeds and stem. Cut fruit into chunks. If using frozen strawberries, thaw the berries first.
- 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.
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