The Kitchen Overflowing With Fruit Whips Out Some Homemade Fruit Leather

When you look at an apple tree and see that it is loaded with fruit…it’s all so very pretty and exciting.  So you begin to pick the apples and load your boxes…and it gets even more pretty and exciting.  And then you go overboard because all of it is all so pretty and exciting that you just can’t stop picking.

And then, you go home with all of your apples, and someone else calls you on the phone and asks if you want some more apples.  And you say, sure, because you just hate to turn away good (free) food.  So then, you have even more apples.

And then someone else calls you (in the same day) and asks if you want some peaches.  Like FOUR banana boxes full of peaches.  And you get really excited (forgetting briefly about all of the apples) and say, yes, you’d love to have all those peaches.  (And then you share some of the peaches because really, four banana boxes full?  Have you seen a banana box?)

And then you get started in your kitchen making applesauce and canning and freezing peaches…and you keep working until everything, including your children, begin to look like either an apple or a peach.  Sad, but true.

You decide that you’re kind of tired of doing the very same things with your fruit, so you try to make some fruit leather.  And it works, and it’s yummy.  Everything and everyone around you still looks like an apple or a peach…but at least now, you have another kind of snack stored away in your pantry for the winter.  Hooray!

Homemade_Fruit_Leather

Here’s what you would do…

Apple Fruit Leather

1.  Make applesauce as shown here.
2.  Put a piece of buttered parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread the applesauce about 1/8 inch thickness on the cookie sheet.

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3.  Put it into a 170 degree oven for somewhere between 10-18 hours or longer, depending on your oven.  Your fruit leather will be done with it is no longer wet….just sticky and leathery.

You can add some kind of sweetener to it or maybe some cinnamon or nutmeg if you’d like…I just left mine plain and it is sweet and yummy as can be!

Peach Fruit Leather (So Easy!!!)

1.  Wash peaches
2.  Cut them off of their pit and throw them, skin and all, into the blender.
3.  Add a shot of water and puree them until there are no chunks.
4.  Spread it onto a piece of buttered parchment paper on a cookie sheet, about 1/8 inch thick.

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5.  Put it into a 170 degree oven for somewhere between 10-18 hours or longer,  depending on your oven.  Your fruit leather will be done with it is no longer wet….just sticky and leathery.

***A few things to note about making the fruit leather.

*While you are making it you might think that it is taking FOREVER.  And you’d be right.  It does.  Be patient.
*My fruit leather didn’t dry evenly in my oven…so sometimes I would cut off the sections that were dry (so that they wouldn’t get overdone), and stick the rest back in the oven.  This meant I had some weird shaped fruit leather, but I was going to cut it all up to store it anyway, so it didn’t matter.
*I loved it that I could put this in the oven in the late evening, then I could go to sleep and have it be all done, or almost done, when I got up in the morning!

I let us all have a sample taste….then I put it into a jar and into the pantry (should be stored in a cool, dark place).  Right now we have so many fresh fruits available to us that I’m sort of hoarding the food I’m preserving.  I’ll pull out the fruit leather on some wintery day when fresh fruit is not so abundant!  THEN it’ll really be a treat!

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Okay, I’m off to go start peeling more apples…  :)

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Comments

  1. says

    OH, you make me want to make some of those!
    and I DO KNOW ALL TO WELL about the LOAD of apples… we just picked apples for the 4th time this year… this time we walked away with 50 GALLONS of apples….
    My hubby canned 35 quarts of applesauce yesterday. WHAT A MAN!!!!
    Probably 21 quarts let of apples outside… That makes for 154 Quarts of applesauce this season… I have been selling some at work… but for the most part, we will keep it!
    SHOULD I PICK AGAIN?????
    I mean for FREE, who can say NO???????

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  2. Julie says

    Laura,

    The fruit leather looks fabulous! I just purchased a food dehydrator, so I’m anxious to give it a try.

    If I were to use the oven method, is there something besides parchment paper that I can use? I don’t have any, but I DO have waxed paper, foil, and saran wrap.

    Thanks!
    Julie

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    jennifer Reply:

    I use saran wrap all the time

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  3. says

    Ok…you are really making me envious here!
    Our fruit trees just don’t produce anything. They blossom out great in the Spring, then the blossoms either freeze or blow away without setting any fruit. I would LOVE to have fresh fruit to preserve. I paid $20some dollars each for a box of peaches and a box of nectarines from Azure just so I could freeze them. It is good to have organic fruit frozen for smoothies. But how much better to pick it fresh (…and get it for free!).

    Keep up the good work!

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  4. says

    You are amazing! This looks delicious, and totally healthy! I just made up a batch of applesauce last week. I’ll have to try out this fruit leather now!

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  5. says

    …and we KNOW because of your love affair with jars that you have the jars to put them in!

    I am simply running out of room for all of this food I am canning and freezing. But I am wishing for more peaches for more salsa.

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  6. says

    Oh, GOOD. I was so afraid when I read the title that this post would include a food dehydrator, and I don’t have one of those. I do have an oven, though! And lots and lots of apples… and a 5 gallon bucket full of beautiful big pears. Do you think I could do the same thing with my pears? I was told that there were many more buckets where that one came from… my dad picked them for me. ;-)

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  7. says

    Maybe you mentioned it and I missed it, but you can also make fruit leather with a deyhdrator. That is how I make mine. Spread it out on the teflex sheets/jelly roll sheets and I think it is 135 degrees for about 12 hours.

    Blessings, Beth

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  8. says

    Thank you for the neat idea! I have a LOT of pears, and I’ve (accidently) made pear butter, but still have a lot left over. What am I going to do!!!! Tommorrow I am going to cut pears and dry them. Hopefully I’ll also figure out how to make stewed pears.

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  9. says

    I simply can’t wait to try this! My children love those fruit by the foot thingy’s but, as the mom, I do not. These are, obviously, much healthier! Do you think you could do this with strawberries? Thanks for sharing!

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  10. says

    Amanda,
    I tried it with strawberries and it turned out great! I made the apple kind, too, with raw apple sauce (skins on) and it turned out awesome, too.
    Laura,
    I was wondering if you have tried chewy fruit snacks. I tried making some for our upcoming road trip but was curious how you would do it.

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  11. Michelle P. from wa says

    Does your fruit leather mold when stored in the jars in your pantry? How long will it last? Thanks a bunch!

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    Laura Reply:

    No, as long as it is completely dry when I put it into jars, it will last for years!

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  12. says

    WOW, how time flies – this was almost a year ago?!? I came across a link for strawberry fruit leather that I put on my weekly roundup, and it reminded me of this post, so I did some searching to find it and put it on there too. (Link is under my name.) Can’t wait to see what you do this year! :>)

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  13. Julie says

    I hate to show my lack of kitchen knowledge, but is parchment paper the same thing as wax paper?

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    Laura Reply:

    Ah, not to worry…you aren’t the only one who’s asked me that question!

    Parchment paper is similar to wax paper…as in…it can be used for the same things. But it’s not as slick or, well, waxy. :) I love the stuff!! I use unbleached.

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  14. bmommy says

    I tried fruit leather for the second time today. Both times it has come out completely too dry–like cardboard. it tastes good, but the dry texture is not good. I can’t get it shiny and leathery–any idea what i’m doing wrong? i cooked it on 170 for probably not even 10 hrs. It just seems so overdone.

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m wondering if it is too thin when you start it? Which fruit are you using?

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  15. bmommy says

    I was using organic apples, skins on that i blended in my vita-mix with a bit of water. After my first try, I thought I had it too thick, so the second time, I did make it really thin. Both times, it is textured like cardboard. I guess i could try doing it thicker. I’m so bummed this hasn’t worked out for me yet.

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    Laura Reply:

    Ah, when I tried making fruit leather with raw apples, it didn’t work. When I used raw peaches, it DID work, but the raw apples didn’t!! I had to make the apples into applesauce first, then it was delicious! But a lot more work!

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  16. Nicole says

    Hi Laura,
    Thank you for such a wonderful blog. I really enjoy reading it, and you inspired me to do some canning for the first time. I came across your fruit leather post and I have a question. When you put the finished fruit leather in a jar do you have to put the jar in a hot water bath to properly seal it? Or do you just screw the lid on as tight as you can without sealing the lid? I wasn’t sure if you can put a jar in the hot water bath without some sort of liquid in the jar.
    Thanks so much,
    Nicole

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    Laura Reply:

    No, just put a lid on and screw it tight! You just need to store it somehow, and I chose a jar!

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  17. says

    AHHH! i am so excited to find this recipe!! my four year old is crazy for fruit leather but unless you buy the expensive $0.60 a stick they are full of preservatives and sugar.
    THANK YOU. i am totally making this. bunches of it.

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  18. says

    I’m curious to know if they stayed chewy stored like that or if they became hard over time. Sounds delish!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Mine stays chewy, unless I leave it in the oven or dehydrator too long, then it’s crunchy right away!

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  19. Meghan V. says

    Our strawberries are in season right now and I would like to try my hand at some strawberry fruit leather. However, you don’t have any instructions for drying it in a dehydrator. A friend let me borrow her Excalibur Dehydrator but (1) I have never used a dehydrator and (2) I don’t have the instruction manual. Do you use the same recipe? How long of a drying time? What setting do you put yours on? Thanks!

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m sorry but I’ve not tried strawberries in my dehydrator yet. I hope to try this June when they are in season for us here.

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  20. says

    Thanks for the post, I have a box of apples that need to be used up. Do you add any sweetener to your applesauce?

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    Laura Reply:

    No, I don’t add any sweetner to mine and my kids still gobble it up!

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  21. Heather T. says

    I just bought a 25lb box of peaches and put some in the freezer but have some that I am waiting on room in the freezer to lay flat so I thought this looked good, I work 3rd shift so that would be perfect pop in tonight and it should be close to done in the morning, its just to bad we are under a heat wave in Wisconsin, its over 100 with the heat index, yuck! but wanted to give this a try.

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  22. Miriam says

    I love to make fruit leather but I don’t have a dehydrator. We live in California’s Central Valley where it is HOT (often above 100 degrees) for a lot of the summer. I put my pans of fruit leather out in the sun and they are done in about 8 hours.

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  23. Beccy H. says

    would this work with pears? like if I made pear butter? my sister gave me a tons of pears and canning scares me :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I believe so, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried it with pears.

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