How To Make Homemade Fruit Leather in Your Oven
My mom did a lot of canning and “putting up” of our homegrown produce at the end of every summer. My very Favorite part of this entire process was when she would make fruit leather.
We had an apricot tree that was usually a maniac producer so we had them coming out of our ears most summers. My mom made the most of them by bottling some whole, making freezer jam with some and then she always used the rest, usually the over ripe or bruised ones, to make fruit leather.
The bruised and over ripe parts of the fruit are perfect for fruit leather. Which is great news for those of us who don’t like to waste anything. I bought two bushels of peaches this summer to make jam and syrup and as I was scrapping off bruises I remembered my moms fruit leather. I just had to make some.
All I did was blend up the pealed pieces of peaches in my blender until they were pureed. I added half a lemon, juiced, and honey to taste. The peaches I used were really sweet so it only took about 1 tbsp of honey.
Next I put two sheets of plastic wrap (overlapped in the center) over a large cookie sheet, making sure to have a few inches hanging over each edge. I then poured the puree mixture carefully onto the cookie sheet and put it in my oven on the lowest setting. For my oven that is 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
I didn’t get a picture of it, but I actually had two in at the same time. One above the other. The top one will dehydrate faster but it doesn’t matter, you can take it out and let the other continue to dehydrate.
Once you have them in the oven, take a butter knife and place it so that the oven door can not completely close. (this is important) Having the oven on it’s lowest setting and allowing air to circulate will dehydrate the fruit puree.
It takes anywhere from 12-20 hours for the fruit leather to be ready. I like to make it at night and put it in before I go to bed so it doesn’t seem like such a long wait.
You will know it is done when it is no longer gooey in the center but is still flexible. You do not want to over cook it or it will be hard and brittle. (the picture above is what mine looked like when I took it out of the oven)
When it’s done, remove it and let it cool before rolling up to store. You can leave it big and rip pieces off or you can cut it into rectangles and roll it up on wax or parchment paper.
It is so yummy and easy to make just takes a little time, but it’s so worth it.
Peaches, apricots, applesauce, work great on their own. If using berries I would suggest doing half pureed berries and half applesauce to help the consistency.
- 4-5 cups pureed peaches, or fruit of choice
- Juice of ½ a lemon (approx 1 tbsp)
- Honey to taste (approx 1-2 tbsp)
- Puree fruit of choice in blender until smooth. Add Lemon Juice and Honey.
- Cover a large cookie sheet that has edges (see picture) with plastic wrap being sure to have a few inches hanging over each edge. Make sure plastic wrap overlaps well in the center so fruit puree can not leak through.
- Pour fruit puree mixture on to plastic wrap covered cookie sheet and spread until pan is evenly coated. Place in your oven on the lowest setting (should be around 170 degrees F)
- Use a butter knife to prop oven door so that it can not close completely.
- Check on fruit leather after 8 hours and then every hour after that.
- Remove from oven when center is no longer gooey and it has a fruit leather consistency.
- Allow to cool completely before rolling up and storing.