Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fruit leathers

Hubby got me an Excalibur dehydrator a few years ago.  He's good like that.  I must admit though, that it has been grossly underused.  So, the other day I was going through my freezers and canned goods and realized I had a lot of strawberries in the freezer and peaches that I had canned.  Not wanting them to go to waste, I decided to make fruit leathers.

The kids love them.  Lets face it, they taste like candy.  They're also amazingly easy to make.  For the strawberry, I just defrosted them and pureed them in the food processor.  You could add more sugar if your strawberries aren't very sweet, or if you just like them that way, but ours were very sweet as is.  The peaches were dumped into a strainer and then pureed.

The dehydrator has special sheets for the leathers, but I'm sure you could get away with parchment paper if you had to.

Pour the mixture onto the trays and swirl around to a good thickness of about 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  Just set them at 135 degrees and walk away.  These took about 8 hours to finish.  Your times may vary, depending on humidity, fruit and thickness of the puree.
Then try not to do what I did.  I couldn't help myself.  It was so yummy.  If you can get through this without eating it all, just pull them off the mat and roll up.  I usually then cut them into serving sizes of 2-3 inch rolls.  The kids adore these and since they're pure fruit, I'm not so unhappy about serving them.

I've heard that you can also do this in your oven at the lowest setting, but I have no experience with that.  My oven doesn't go below 200 and that would just cook them.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday. 


Jill @ The Prairie Homestead said...

I done that as well with my extra jams and they are good! It's amazing how easy it is, and sooo much better than "fruit" roll-ups. ;)

Jackie @ Crest Cottage said...

Just another reason I am lusting after a dehydrator...

My oven goes to 170*... too high?

The Mom said...

Jill, I never thought of using jams. Yummy!

Jackie, you should try it and let me know.

Anonymous said...

Fruit leathers were the very first thing I made in my Excaliber. I even made salsa leather, ya I know but it works and no messy dripping down the front of your shirt from your egg burritos in the morning. You pictorial was spot on. I have added a bit of honey to my fruit if I thought it needed a bit more sweetness and a tablespoon of lemon really brightens up the flavor as well, thanks for sharing. Robin in SoCal

kitsapFG said...

I got rid of my dehydrater when we moved from central Washington to coastal Washington - relying on using my sisters when needed. However, five years later she just moved to Arizona and so I am going to have to seriously think aobut getting another dehydrater. I hate to spend much on it as I don't use it a great deal - but do like it to make onion, garlic, and tomato powders. It takes a good one to get the vegetables dry enough to pulverize into powders.

Fruit leathers are definitely yummy and I would have probably eaten the whole thing. :D