Tropical Island Tastes in a Fruit Leather
(Bananas, Pineapple, Orange, Lemon, and Coconut)
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!
A wonderful Island taste that just screams “summertime”, this mix of tropical fruits is an enjoyable snack for any time you want to taste the fruit of the tropics. Try substituting chopped papaya, guava, mango or jeijoa for chopped fresh pineapple in this recipe—they all work.
To buy the bananas, you will need approximately 6 bananas to get 3 cups mashed. A 3-pound medium pineapple, when prepared, will yield about 4.5 cups (1065 ml) of cubes. One cup of fresh, peeled and cored pineapple that was cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces will weigh about 6 ounces (170g). For canned pineapple, 1x 29-ounce (850 ml) can of chunked or crushed pineapple is about 3-3/4 cups, drained.
By the way, the pineapple canning industry uses every bit of the “waste” for making alcohol, vinegar and animal feed; they throw out nothing. I dehydrate the pineapple skin and core and grind into a flavorful powder.
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?
Tropical Delight 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 bananas, mashed
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or canned pineapple chunked or crushed and drained)
1 tablespoon orange peel, dried ground (or 1 tablespoon orange powder)
2 teaspoons lemon juice (or 2 teaspoons lemon powder)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
- Select ripe or slightly overripe fruit. Wash fresh fruit in cool water. Remove peel and core. Cut fruit into chunks. Mash bananas. If using canned pineapple, drain juice before measuring. Save skin and core of fresh pineapple and dehydrate as well for pineapple powder if you wish.
- Using blade attachment in the food processor, blend all ingredients except coconut flakes 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.
- Sprinkle coconut flakes over the fruit purée and gently press down into the leather.
- 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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