Making fresh Fruit Leather is an easy way to extend the flavor of the season (and a great use for leftover fruit pulp from making jelly). If you’re looking for something to do with your kids or grandchildren, making fruit leather roll-ups is a fun activity with tasty rewards.
What is fruit leather? Fruit leather is pureed fruit that has been poured in a thin layer and dried on a flat surface. If it is then peeled from the surface and rolled into a tube-shape, then we call it a roll-up.
What equipment do I need to make it? In addition to whatever you need to prepare the fruit (e.g. knife and cutting board), you’ll need a blender, food processor, or food mill and
- a dehydrator with specially designed solid plastic tray inserts, or
- an oven that registers 140°F, cookie sheets, and plastic wrap.
Why bother making it yourself? In addition to getting to pick your favorite fruits and have fun in the process, making your own fruit leather can save you money as compared to store-bought versions. Even better, homemade fruit leather can be made without the added sugars found in commercially made varieties (although you have the option to add sugar, corn syrup, or honey to sweeten if desired).
Which fruits should I use? Apples, apricots, berries (with seeds), cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, pineapples, prune plums, and strawberries are all excellent choices for making fruit leather. Citrus fruits, cranberries, guavas, papayas, and blueberries will hold up best in combination with other fruits from the above list or applesauce. Combining applesauce with any of these fruit purees works very well to extend the product, decrease tartness and make the leather smoother and more pliable.
Are there any fruits I should not use? Avocados, currants, melons, olives, persimmons, and pomegranates are not suitable for making fruit leather because of fat content, seeds, low acidity or high moisture content.
For complete directions to make your own fruit leather and tips for adding flavor and interest with spices, flavorings, garnishes, and fillings, follow these instructions on the National Center website.