Easy recipe for fruit leather using your oven or a food dehypdrator – it’s 100% fruit! Swap out apples and blueberries for peaches and apples (or even easier: applesauce.)
I was lucky enough to get to take the kids apple picking from a beautiful tree in a friend’s front yard. Our friends don’t spray the tree, so while most of the apples were delicious on the outside, the cores of nearly every apple contained a worm or two…or three.
This is why the ‘organic’ apple is such a magical fruit: it’s really hard to keep pests away from fruit. But many farmers work tirelessly to figure it out. (When I was growing up, my dad tried EVERYTHING to keep worms away; NOTHING but spraying pesticides worked.)
Anyway, we gathered almost a bushel of fruit! So what to do with about 42 pounds of fruit ready to go bad quickly? With it still being ‘Back to School’ season, and nearly 180 lunches left to pack this year, my mind turned to perfect lunch dessert: Apple Blueberry Fruit Leather.
Growing up, Mom made peach fruit leather (see recipe below!), pear leather, strawberry leather, plum leather and more. But she always used applesauce as a base to stretch the fruit. She stored it in the freezer and we ate it all winter long as a snack (when the fresh fruit at the store was terrible in middle-of-nowhere Montana.) But she had no recipe. So I winged it: Just puree cooked fruit or berries until it’s a spreadable consistency; add a little sugar for the preservation factor and for a good fruit leather texture.
And remember the longer you simmer the fruit, the less time it will take to dehydrate, as the simmering step removes water.
I used a food dehydrator (that I picked up a thrift store) But now I will certainly be in the market for a new one if this dehydrator dies! If you don’t have a dehydrator, use the instructions I tested below for drying in the oven.Print
Apple Blueberry Fruit Leather
Fruit leather is a great treat for kids’ lunch or snack and can be made with a very simple recipe of just fruit (even applesauce)! Use this recipe to make Apple Blueberry Fruit Leather or Peach Fruit Leather.
- Yield: About 20 servings depending on portion size
- 16-18 apples, cored, unpeeled, chopped (about 6 cups chopped)
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- Combine apples, lemon juice, sugar and 2 cups water in a large kettle. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low and cook about 15-20 minutes until apples are very tender. Cool slightly then use an immersion blender to puree, or puree in food processor/blender. Remove most of applesauce from processor, reserving about 1 cup in the processor and add blueberries; puree. Combine applesauce and pureed blueberries; taste and add more sugar if desired.
- Cover food dehydrator trays with parchment paper that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spread apple blueberry puree over trays with a spatula or off-set spatula to about 1/8-inch thickness. Dry in food dehydrater for about 6-8 hours until the fruit leather is not sticky to the touch.
- TO MAKE IN THE OVEN: Place a silpat sheet on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread the fruit leather to about 1/8-inch thick. Bake in a 175-degree oven for about 3-4 hours.
To make Peach Fruit Leather, follow step #1 above using: 6 cups of chopped (unpeeled) peaches, lemon juice, sugar and 2 cups unsweetened applesauce in a large kettle. Follow the other steps as above. (But don’t add blueberries.) This will yield about 4 1/2 cups liquid; pour onto a silpat and oven dry, or use a food dehydrator.
Have you ever used a food dehydrator? Can you recommend a certain one – or feature on a dehydrator?