Make Fruit Leather Using Fresh Fruit

Here’s how to make fruit leather (also called roll-ups) from fresh fruit. Once made, this stuff keeps almost indefinitely and is a great portable snack.

 

You can enjoy fruit leathers just by tearing off strips and noshing on them, but you can also use them as wrapping for all sorts of healthy snacks. These are hunks of melon wrapped in fruit leather that I made from foraged loquats:

melon wrapped in loquat fruit leather

melon wrapped in loquat fruit leather

You can also make fruit leathers from canned fruit (great way to use up the last of last year’s applesauce)…but that’s another post.

 

pear leather

pear wrapped in homemade pear leather

Instructions

Choose fruit that is very ripe.

Peel and core fruits such as apples and pears. Remove pits from other fruits such as peaches and plums (you’ll have a smoother fruit leather if you also peel these, but it’s not necessary).

Chop the fruit into 1-inch chunks. Add water to the bottom of a double boiler. Put the fruit in the top of the double boiler. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and the center of the fruit mixture registers 160F/71C on a thermometer. (Fresh fruit has to be heated to 160F/71C to kill off potential pathogens before using it to make fruit leather.)

Let the fruit cool slightly. Transfer it to a blender or food processor and puree.

Drying the Fruit Leather

If you have a dehydrator, that is a more energy-efficient way to make fruit leathers than using your oven. But both methods yield delicious results.

  • Dehydrator Method

Line the trays of your dehydrator with plastic wrap or non-stick dehydrator sheets or parchment paper cut to fit the trays. If using plastic wrap, tuck the edges under the trays so that the wrap won’t flop over onto your fruit while it dries.

Put 1 cup of fruit puree in the center of each tray. Spread with a spatula until it is between 1/4 and 1/8-inch thick. Be sure to spread the puree evenly so that all areas of the fruit leather dry in the same amount of time.

Place the trays in the dehydrator and dry at 140F/60C. Start checking for doneness after 4 hours.

Your fruit leather is ready when it is translucent, only slightly sticky to the touch, and peels easily away from the plastic wrap or non-stick sheet. Note that fruit leathers can take anywhere from 4 to 10 hours to dry depending on how thickly the pureed fruit was spread and the density of the fruit.

Let the fruit leather cool to room temperature. To store, roll it up in plastic wrap or waxed paper, making sure all the surfaces are completely covered, including the edges.

  • Oven Method

Very lightly grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil (cooking spray is useful here). Alternatively, line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or parchment paper. If using plastic wrap, tuck the edges under the tray so that the wrap won’t flop over onto your fruit while it dries.

2 cups of fruit puree is enough for a 12 by 17-inch baking tray. Put the puree in the center of the tray. Spread with a spatula until it is between 1/4 and 1/8-inch thick. Be sure to spread the puree evenly so that all areas of the fruit leather dry in the same amount of time.

Turn the oven to its lowest setting, between 140F/60C – 145F/63C (you want to dry the fruit, not cook it). Start checking for doneness after 4 hours.Your fruit leather is ready when it is translucent, only slightly sticky to the touch, and peels easily away from the baking tray or plastic wrap. Note that fruit leathers can take anywhere from 4 to 10 hours to dry depending on how thickly the pureed fruit was spread and the density of the fruit.

Let the fruit leather cool to room temperature. To store, roll it up in plastic wrap or waxed paper, making sure all the surfaces are completely covered, including the edges.

This is an adaptation of a recipe in my book Preserving Everything.

Upcoming Workshops and Events in Israel, New York, California, Wisconsin, and West Virginia

“Fantastic. Informative. Top-notch. Lovely time.” – NYC foraging tour participant

 

The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles is part field guide covering 50 plants, mushrooms, and seaweeds with a widespread distribution, and part cookbook for turning these wild edibles into delectable dishes.

“Leda Meredith is, in my opinion, the Foraging Goddess, and the next best thing to this book would be to share a field expedition with her! I highly recommend The Forager’s Feast to anyone who has a love of the wild foods.” – Amazon review by Susan C.

 

Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries

NE Foraging cvr
“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” – Sam Thayer

 





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *