Monday, April 30, 2012

Fruit Leathers

Fruit leathers provide nourishing snacks and are easy to prepare. This product can be
made by pureeing fruit, either fresh or a drained, canned product. 

This information is provided by the University of Utah Cooperative Extension Service.


The steps in making a leather are:

  1. Wash fresh fruit and peel if desired. Remove pits and seeds. Slice or cube if the fruit is large.
  2. Make a puree from the desired fruit.
    • A blender or food processor can be used on fresh or precooked fruit. If a blender is to be used for fresh fruit, puree the fruit first and then bring the puree to a boil while stirring continuously.
    • If a food mill or potato masher is to be used, it is best to cook fresh fruit with a small amount of water in a covered pan until tender first, then puree the fruit. The heat process will inactivate enzymes that can cause the leather to discolor.
    • Canned fruit should be well drained. It is not necessary to heat canned fruit. The pureed product can be lightly sweetened if desired. Heavily sweetened fruits will remain sticky and will not dry well.
  3. Spread the puree in a thin layer on a plastic film.
    • The plastic film can be on a cookie sheet, a pizza pan, a oven-safe dinner plate or on some dehydrator racks.
  4. Make sure that the plastic sheet edges do not fold over and cover any of the puree.
  5. The puree should be about 1/4 inch deep.
  6. Dry the leather in a dehydrator or oven.
  7. The leather is adequately dried when you can peel it from the plastic.
  8. The dried product should have a bright translucent appearance, chewy texture, and a good fruit flavor.
  9. Leathers can be stored by rolling them up while they are still on the film and placed in a glass jar with a tight lid or plastic bag. They retain their color and flavor for several months at room temperature, but storage life can be extended by refrigeration or freezing.

Linda’s Note:
To my mind, it’s easier to make plops than to make sheets.  Simply measure ¼ to ½ cup portions. That way you know exactly how much each serving is. Especially important for diabetics and people with restricted diets. Plus, if you decide to use some of them in cooking recipes, you know how much to use.

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