Fruit leather is super easy to make, especially if you have a dehydrator that has flexible fruit leather sheets like mine does. (Read about my failed attempt to make leather in my oven below.) But the first time I made leather, I botched it up because I poured the fruit puree too thin, and the leather turned out like paper. I’ll give you the exact measurements that actually work in this recipe so you don’t make the same mistake I did.
I’ll also give you a few tips in the directions below that will help speed your work. Even though it’s fun to make fruit leather, it’s even more fun if you can get the job done quickly.
Besides my dehydrator, another tool I have that makes fruit leather so easy to make is my VitaMix. That’s because I can cut up a bunch of peaches (or any other fruit for that matter) without peeling them, and the VitaMix purees the fruit so completely that the peelings are barely visible at all, and you certainly don’t notice them in the finished leather.
So that eliminates the step of peeling the fruit which speeds up the process considerably.
Fruit leather is one of the kids’ favorite on-the-go snacks, and I love that it’s easy to make and that I know exactly what’s in it – pure, natural, fresh fruit. You can add a sweetener like honey or sugar if you want to, but I never do. The natural sweetness of the fruit is concentrated as it dries, and it always turns out plenty sweet for us. Besides that, I want my children to grow up accustomed to the natural flavors of foods as much as possible, so I try not to add sweeteners for that reason too.
When I make fruit leather, I like to fill up my entire dehydrator and make a huge batch. For my Excalibur dehydrator, this equals 9 large trays. You might think this would be a really big project, but it took me less than an hour to get the peaches washed, pureed, and spread out on the dehydrator sheets. 48 minutes to be exact.
By the way, Excalibur’s fruit leather sheets are quite pricey, so we bought generic ones through Amazon for a fraction of the cost, and they work equally well.
This recipe makes 9 14″x14″ sheets, which works out to 126 individual 2″x7″strips of peach leather.
peaches (I used almost a half bushel [25 lbs pounds] and filled my 9 dehydrator trays completely.)
honey or other sweetener, to taste (optional)
1. Puree your fruit in batches. If you’ve decided to let your VitaMix totally puree your fruit peelings to save yourself the step of peeling the fruit, you’ll need to process it for 30 seconds or longer.
2. Pour 4 cups of puree onto each 14″x14″ dehydrator sheet. Outline the edges of the sheet first with the back of a spoon and you’ll create a kind of barrier that will keep the rest of the puree from running off the sheet.
3. Gently shake the tray from side to side to level out your peach puree.
4. Repeat until you’ve filled the amount of trays you want.
5. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 8 – 12 hours, or until your leather is completely dry to the touch and easily peels off the sheets. For nice even strips, use a ruler as you cut them out.
Fruit leather can be stored in a sealed container or bag for up several weeks at cool room temperature. Or keep it in the fridge or freezer almost indefinitely.
Fruit Leather In The Oven?
Although I have a great dehydrator, not everyone does, so I tried to make peach leather in my oven so I could show you how. But my attempt was a flop. I guess it’s my oven. I spread the peach puree out on a parchment lined baking sheet and put it in the oven with the pilot light on – which is pretty warm. By morning, nothing had happened at all. My “leather” was still as wet as it had been the night before. So I turned the oven on 150 degrees, and within 30 minutes, half of it was black.
I know other people have made leather successfully in their ovens. If you’re one of those people, feel free to share your success with others in the comments. My oven just isn’t up to the task.