Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600536
Sometimes called fruit rolls or fruit taffies, these "leathers" can be eaten as is, or they can be made into a beverage by adding 5 parts of water to 1 part leather in a food blender. They can also be used in pie filling, in cooking and as a topping for dessert.
Any type of fruit can be used including: apricots, apples, grapes, berries, pineapple, oranges, pears, peaches, tomatoes, plums, tropical fruits and others. Fruit not suitable for drying are grapefruit, lemons, persimmons and rhubarb--without certain modifications.
1. Select ripe or overripe fruit.
2. Remove stones, pits or seeds from fruit. Peel, if desired.
3. Cut fruit into chunks and place them in a food chopper or mechanical blender.
4. If yellow or light-colored fruit are used, add 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice to each quart of fruit.
5. Chop, grind, or blend until a thick puree is formed.
6. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar per quart to orange and pineapple pulp. (Additional sugar is not needed for other fruits.)
7. Put plastic wrap in a cookie sheet or tray that has a 1/4 inch edge.
8. Pour the puree onto the sheet or tray about 1/4 inch deep. Distribute evenly by tilting the tray; do not use a spatula or knife.
OVEN DRYING: Set the oven at the lowest setting (140 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the sheets or trays in the oven and leave the oven door cracked open--2 to 6 inches. The fruit leather will be dry in 6 to 24 hours depending on the thickness of the puree, oven temperature and water content of the fruit being dried.
DEHYDRATOR DRYING: Place sheets or trays in the dehydrator. Set the temperature control at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry 4 to 5 hours and test for dryness.
TESTING FOR DRYNESS: Properly dried fruit leather will be sticky to the touch, but will be easily peeled from the plastic wrap or waxed paper. Lift the edge, (it will adhere tightly to the surface) and peel it back about an inch. If the leather peels readily, it is properly dried.
STORAGE: After loosening the edge and peeling it back about an inch, roll the plastic wrap or waxed paper and the dried leather in one piece in a loose roll.
Store in a cool, dry dark place. Under proper storage conditions, leathers will keep from one month to one year. For longer storage, place leather in the freezer.