Friday, September 11, 2009

Fruit Leather

We blanched. We peeled. We cut. We pitted. We sliced. We mashed. We puréed.
We poured. We baked. We waited. And waited. And waited. And after all that we ended up with fruit leather!
I actually have mixed feelings on the whole fruit leather thing. Mostly it's that my first attempt wasn't a complete success so that's a bit frustrating.
I followed THIS recipe.
Blanching the peaches made life very easy. And the 5 year old was able to help, so that was fun! She even used a plastic knife & helped me slice 'em up.
The recipe calls for 1/2 CUP of water for every 4 cups of sliced fruit.I freaked out at how much water I had to add to the already juicy watery sliced peaches. So I omitted some. I would just follow the recipe straightway through next time.
I also had a hard time deciding on whether to add sugar or not. I used 19 peaches, which ended up slicing into about 9 cups of fruit. I wanted to go all pure & keep it natural, but after tasting the purée I decided I definitely needed to make it sweeter. I added only 5 Tablespoons of sugar, but I'm thinking I should've added more. It's all a matter of personal taste when you're making fruit leather. I did add about a teaspoon of lemon juice too.
After mashing the simmered fruit, my blender worked wonderfully for making a purée. I was thinking I needed a food processor. Nope. It was so smooth & pretty looking.
I made 2 pans of fruit leather. One pan was a rectangular cookie sheet that I lined with parchment paper. The mid-section of the pan cooked a lot slower (warped pan?) & I ended up ditching a small section of the leather in the middle since it cooked unevenly & I needed to get it out of the oven. I also used a circular pizza pan that I lined with microwave safe/heavy duty saran wrap. Both the parchment & saran wrap worked, but I prefer the saran wrap--which I had to go out & purchase since I just had the wimpy kind: which WILL melt in your oven if you use it!
Also, my oven will only set as low as 170 degrees. The recipe says to set your oven at 140 degrees. I cooked the leather for 8 hours. I think I should have taken it out earlier though. It was a tiny bit tough, though we are still managing to much on it, somewhat.
I sliced it with a pizza cutter in small strips & wrapped it in saran wrap.
The girls have mixed reviews on the fruit leather.

In conclusion...
*I will definitely try it again.
*I'm excited to try a different fruit. Cherries! Strawberries!
*The taste of my peach fruit leather is a bit off & I'm not sure why.
*I cooked it a bit too long. I'd watch it closer next time.
*A good pan is important. (I was impressed with how evenly the pizza pan cooked. If only I'd taken it out about 40 minutes earlier it'd be PERFECT!)
*I {heart} heavy duty/microwave safe Saran Wrap.
*My mom said we made fruit leather when I was a kid & we dried it on the roof. Awesome.


  1. you know, my grandpa built my mom a fruit drying box that we still have and she made fruit leather in that (I think...I know we made regular dried fruit in there). I would think that there might be info on the magical internet about building one, or if not, my dad could tell me how it was made and I could pass it on. I know it was a box about 2.5x2.5x1.5 feet with wood framed trays that had screen door screens as the tray bottoms. There was a heat lamp and a fan in the bottom. I was actually thinking about it a few days ago and momentarily considered asking if I could have it, but there is no room in my apt. I remember having fruit leather as a kid and being jealous of fruit rollups. =)

  2. I love it, thanks for those fabulous details and directions.

  3. how about honey, agave nectar or evaporated cane juice as a sugar substiute... I've been useing evaporated cane juice (it's granulated) in my's different but healthier than white sugar....

  4. Ohhhh Nikki---thank you for sharing this. Your fruit leather looks awesome!

  5. Ohh...I really want to try this!!

  6. i have been without a computer for the past few weeks and have surely missed YOU! :) i can hardly wait to catch up on all the WONDERFUL things you share with your daughters... and us! :) Have a GREAT weekend and thank you so very much for sharing your CLEVERNESS! :D

  7. You know I am going to try your recipe, I have tried two summers in a row and the fruit leather has not turned out!!


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