Fruit leather is the perfect snack for kids and adults. This chewy fruit product is incredibly easy to make. Simply puree fresh fruit, and dry in a food dehydrator. The hardest part of the process is choosing the exact temperature to dry your fruit.
Choosing Your Fruit and Combinations
First and foremost, you need to select your fruit and combinations before you make fruit leather. There are several fruits that you can choose from, including:
You can choose from over a dozen other fruits or even vegetables if you want – the choice is yours. A lot of people will mix fruits together to find the desired taste. A good example of this is citrus fruits because they have a lot of pulp. So, you may mix apples with Kiwi because this will allow the mixture to remove more liquid when dried.
If you find that your fruit rolls are too watery, it’s because the fruit contains too much liquid and needs to be combined with another drier fruit to be dehydrated properly.
Another tip is to use fruits that are in season, or fruits that are bruised or not suitable for canning or other options. If you have a farmer’s market, you could find misshapen fruit, or fruit that is not ideal for store shelves, but still not spoiled. This will help you save a little bit of money and allow you to make fruit leather on a tight budget.
Choosing the Right Temperature
Fruit rolls, and fruits and vegetables in general, should be dried between 130°F and 140°F. This temperature range is low enough that it won’t destroy the fruit’s vitamins and minerals. A major issue with higher heat dehydration is that you’ll lose many of the food’s vitamins, such as vitamin A and C, when the temperatures too high.
By keeping your food dehydrator in this temperature range, you’ll never have to worry about it degrading the nutrients in your fruit leather.
Prepping Your Fruit Leather
Now it’s time to actually create your fruit leather. Add all the fruits into a blender, and blend until smooth. Once you have the desired texture, you want to grab your fruit leather tray and begin to spread your mixture evenly across the tray/sheet at about a 1/8” thickness. You’ll want to experiment to find the right thickness for your own taste.
Note: The edges of the fruit leather should be a little thicker than the center as they will drive slightly faster.
All that’s left to do is to put your fruit sheet or tray in your food dehydrator and set the temperature to between 130°F and 140°F. I normally choose 135°F because it’s right in the middle and seems to be the sweet spot.
You’ll want to dry your fruit leather for 6 to 8 hours at most.
After the six-hour mark, check your fruit leather’s texture. If it’s still too moist, keep checking it every 30 minutes until you find the desired texture and dryness.