Fruit leather is a tasty, 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.
Fruit leather can be made from fresh, frozen, or canned fruit (including home canned). The advantages of making your own fruit leathers are to save money use less sugar and to mix fruit flavors. Even leftover fruit pulp from making jelly or smoothies can be blended and made into fruit rolls. Some folks also make it with fruit juices.
Fruit Roll Ups
Yield: This amount will fill one 13″ x 15″ fruit leather tray.
1 cup chopped fruit
1 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice or 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid (375 mg) for light colored fruits
1/4 to 1/2 cup corn syrup or honey, to taste (Optional)
- Select ripe or slightly overripe, washed fruit. Remove peel, seeds and stem. If using canned, rinse off syrup.
- Cut fruit into chunks. Purée fruit with applesauce until smooth.
- Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid (375 mg) for each 2 cups light colored fruit to prevent darkening.
- Optional: To sweeten, add corn syrup or honey. Corn syrup or honey is best for longer storage because it prevents crystals.
- Pour into a single large sheet (13″ X 15″) or into several smaller sizes. Spread purée evenly, about 1/8-inch thick, onto drying tray. Avoid pouring purée too close to the edge of the trays. Spread a bit thicker towards the outsides so that puree dries evenly.
- The larger fruit leathers take longer to dry. Temperature range can be between 120-135°F/48-57°C.
- 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 tray and roll, allow to cool and rewrap the roll in plastic or parchment paper.
- Applesauce decreases tartness and makes the leather smoother and more pliable.
- Cookie cutters can be used to cut out shapes that children will enjoy.
- Sugar is fine for immediate use or short-term storage if you prefer. However, there is a chance of having it crystalize in your fruit roll up.
- Saccharin-based sweeteners could also be used to reduce tartness without adding calories. Aspartame sweeteners may lose sweetness during drying.
- Use your fruit or vegetable powders to just flavor applesauce for a nice treat!
Spices, Flavors, and Garnishes
To add interest to your fruit roll ups, try adding spices, flavorings or garnishes.
- Spices–Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice. Use sparingly, start with 1/8 teaspoon for each 2 cups of pureé.
- Flavorings–Almond extract, lemon juice, lemon peel, lime juice, lime peel, orange extract, orange juice, orange peel or vanilla extract. Use sparingly, try 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon for each 2 cups of purée.
- Other Additions–Shredded coconut, chopped dates, other dried chopped fruits, granola, miniature marshmallows, chopped nuts, chopped raisins, poppy seeds, sesame seeds or sunflower seeds.
Fillings–Melted chocolate, softened cream cheese, cheese spreads, jam, preserves, marmalade, marshmallow cream or peanut butter. Spread one or more of these on the leather after it is dried and then roll.
Store in refrigerator. Not for long-term storage.
For 14 Recipes and lots of Tips, and Tricks see
Fruit Leather (Roll-up) Recipes & Hacks.
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