Fruit leather is one of the best things to carry with yourself while going for an outing. It is prepared from fresh fruit, by drying it so that the juices do not remain, and concentrating the sugar content in it. This way, it can be preserved for longer duration without getting spoiled. It is a favored snack owing to its naturally delicious taste. Since the nutritional content of the fruits is preserved, it's very healthy for the body.
Preparing it at Home
It is believed that making a fruit leather in a microwave is much easier than making it in a dehydrator. You can prepare it with any type of fruits, although pulpy fruits are preferred more. The most common fruits used for this purpose are mangoes, peach, apricots, avocado, pineapples, and plums. Given below are the steps to make it at home.
- Get your favorite fruits from the market and wash them. Let them dry on their own. You can also combine two or more fruits for making this.
- Put the fruits inside the blender and make a puree. Make sure you do not juice them. The consistency of the puree can be adjusted by adding applesauce or some extra mashed pulp.
- Add extra sugar or honey if required. You can modify the taste by adding nutmeg powder, cardamom, or cinnamon powder to the fruit puree. Add a little lemon juice to preserve its taste and quality.
- Now, spread the puree over plastic sheets for keeping it inside a fruit leather oven or dehydrator for the purpose of drying. Make sure you have spread the puree uniformly, or else the leather formed will not be of uniform thickness.
- Adjust the temperature of the oven to 140 °C, and check it at regular intervals with a thermometer. If you are using an oven, the preparation process will take 18 hours, whereas a dehydrator will take 7 to 8 hours. After taking the sheets out of the oven, check if the leather has dried completely before peeling it off the sheet.
- You can fold and cut it into any shape you want. Wrap the pieces in aluminum foils and then store them in the refrigerator for future use.
When pouring the puree, do not pour a very thick layer as it will take a longer time to dry. The thickness should range between ⅛th to ¼th of an inch. The time taken for drying depends on the consistency and water content of the puree. A parchment paper is a good substitute for cookie sheets, as the leather can be peeled off it more easily. Make sure you air dry the leather after taking it out of the dehydrator. The perfect consistency is best achieved by using frozen and freshly-thawed fruits. Peach leather is a good option during summer season, while those made from cherries and strawberries are good options for desserts during spring season.
Pack the fruit leather in dry bottles, boxes, or containers so that the pieces are not spoiled by moisture. It can also be eaten along with sandwiches and cookies, and is a good snack option for kids during camping trips and other outdoor activities.