I’ve hit a new epoch in my life. I’m domestic!
If you’ve never made fruit leather before, stick around and I’ll show you how to make fruit leather (it’s easier than you think!). If you’re are an experienced fruit leather maker, make sure you check out my grape fruit leather recipe below!
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Fruit season is not just to be enjoyed by the experienced matrons among us. Thanks to the overwhelmingly fertile fruit trees and vines at our new house, I’ve learned that, while it takes a bit of time and effort, anyone can learn to make absolutely delicious treats like homemade jam or homemade fruit leather from the fruit that grows in their backyard or the fruit that populates the produce section of the grocery store.
One of the things I’ve learned this season is how to make fruit leather. Homemade fruit leather is surprisingly easy to make. Prepping the fruit is really the only laborious part of making fruit leather. Beyond that it is smooth sailing; the oven does all the work.
How to Make Fruit Leather
- Fruit leather really just requires a base fruit and, if you choose, a flavor fruit. There are so many options for your fruit base. Apples, pears, peaches, and apricots are some of my favorite fruits to use for the fruit leather base. You can try flavoring your fruit with berries, plums, grapes, and more. The flavor combinations are almost endless!
For this batch of fruit leather I used pears with fresh pressed grape juice (see the recipe below) for one pan, and in the other pan I added a bit of apricot puree I had left over from another batch of fruit leather to the pear, grape mixture.
Kitchen tools you’ll need to make fruit leather
There are just a few things you’ll need to have on hand to make these. Most of you will already have these in your kitchen. If you don’t, they are a worthy investment.
- Aluminum Baking Pan (mine is 17.88 x 12.88 x 1.06)
- Silicone Baking Mat (this is a must! Much better than parchment paper or foil.)
- High quality blender (I love my Ninja blender!)
While many people make fruit leather in their dehydrator, I prefer to make it in the oven for the simple reason that you can make much more at a time.
Just a few more tips for homemade fruit leather
- Ditch the sweetener. I often see fruit leather recipes that call for sugar, honey, or other sweetener. In my opinion this is completely unnecessary. Fruit is already very sweet on its own and the less we add sugar to our food, the more our health will thank us.
- Bake in the oven at a low temperature. I’ve seen some recipes call for temperatures as low as 150°. Our oven won’t cook that low; even if it did, it would take forever to dry out the fruit leather. I’ve found that the sweet spot with our oven is 200°. I wouldn’t recommend baking any lower than 175°
Here are my two batches right before going into the oven. The kids call the one on the left (apricot, pear, grape) our “flavor swirl” fruit leather. The one on the right is the pear grape fruit leather.
2. Get the cooking time right. The only tricky thing about homemade fruit leather is getting the cooking time right. Your cooking time will vary based on a multitude of conditions: how juicy your fruit is, the exact amount of puree that is in your pan, how good your oven is at maintaining the heat and eliminating the moisture from the oven, etc.
All the variables mean is that you’ll need to check your fruit leather as it cooks. As a general rule, check at approximately 8 hours (sometimes I like to put my fruit leather in the oven when I go to bed and check it when I get up in the morning). If the fruit leather isn’t done, add 2 hours. I’m not sure I’ve ever cooked fruit leather for more than 10 hours (for 2 pans in the oven at the same time).
If you half the recipe and cook just 1 pan at a time, you’ll need to bring your cooking time down to 6 hours and then add time if needed.
Pear Grape Fruit Leather Recipe
I hope you’ve enjoyed this grape pear fruit leather recipe and tutorial on how to make fruit leather! Please let me know if you have any tips on how you make fruit leather.