Share your best fruit leather recipe with the readers of BackpackingChef.com.
What kind of fruit combinations can you dream up? If you dream about tangerine trees and marmalade skies, then you are probably a whiz at making fruit leather. Submit your recipe using the form at the bottom of this page.
First, I’ll cover the basics of how to make fruit leather. Then it’s your turn.
Choose one or more fruits to blend:
Apple, apricot, banana, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, grapefruit, grape, kiwi, lemon, nectarine, orange, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, plum, pumpkin, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, watermelon.
There is no rule that says you can’t add a vegetable like carrot, beet, or sweet potato to your fruit leather recipe. You will want to cook root vegetables first to soften them up, although you could use raw grated carrots. This might be a chance to use up some of those cucumbers from the garden, too.
Wash fruit and remove cores or large seeds. You can leave the skins on fruits like pears and apples since they contain healthy nutrients, but peel if you prefer. Cut fruit into smaller pieces for the blender.
Optional Flavorings and Sweeteners:
Fruit juice, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, fruit jams/preserves, vanilla or almond extract, brandy, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. A teaspoon of lemon juice can be added to apple fruit leather to keep it from turning darker due to oxidation.
Go easy on liquid flavorings or your mixture will be too thin and will take a lot longer to dry. Pineapple and orange juice will increase the stickiness of your leather. Too much syrup will also make your leather sticky. Use concentrated extracts like vanilla sparingly.
For the daring, add some yogurt or cheesecake. If you add dairy, keep it in the refrigerator at home and eat it in a day or two on the trail.
Shredded coconut, chopped nuts, sesame seeds, granola, chopped dried figs, dates, or raisins. Sprinkle garnish on top of the mixture after you spread it on the dehydrator tray.
Photo at left shows my banana-pineapple fruit leather recipe garnished with sweetened coconut flakes.
I poured it into a round shape like a cookie.
Children enjoy this activity and Chef Glenn is still young at heart.
Dehydrating Fruit Leather
Combine fruits and optional flavorings in a blender and blend until smooth.
Spread thinly, about ⅛ inch thick. The outer edges will dry faster, so make the outside a little thicker, up to ¼ inch. Use Excalibur Paraflexx sheets, parchment paper, or the fruit leather inserts that came with your dehydrator. Don’t use waxed paper.
Dry at 135°. Drying times will usually fall in the six to twelve hour range, depending on the juiciness of your fruit leather recipe. After six hours, your leather may be dry enough to peel off the non-stick sheets and place directly on the mesh trays to speed up the drying by exposing the bottom. Leather will be pliable when done. Be sure to check spots where the mixture was spread thicker to make sure there is no moisture. Depending on the fruits and flavorings used, fruit leather may be a little sticky, even when it is dry.
Storing and Packing Fruit Leather
For home use, store in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic or any container with a lid. If left out for more than a few days in humid conditions, fruit leather may reabsorb moisture from the air. Mold may grow shortly after that.
For backpacking, store fruit leather in its own plastic bag separated from other dried ingredients. I tear mine into pieces. If you are going out for more than a few days, consider vacuum sealing your daily rations. The pressure of vacuum sealing may cause your leather pieces to stick together. With a little effort you can pull it apart or you can make apple sauce or pudding out of it. Although fruit leather will never dry to a crispy stage due to the sugars in the fruit, I dry mine longer for backpacking than for home use.
I snack on dried fruit pieces, not leather, while hiking and use fruit leather for desserts. When mixed with hot or cold water, apple leather turns into apple sauce. Fruit leather recipes with banana reconstitute into creamy pudding which is much healthier than the artificially colored and flavored store-bought pudding.Some Fruit Leather Recipes I enjoy:
Fruit Leather Recipes submitted by BackpackingChef.com readers. Includes Mulberry-Sour Cherry, Vanilla Scented Strawberry-Rhubarb, and more!
Sweet Potato Bark and Pumpkin Pie Bark are similar to leather, but can be dried to a drier state. I eat these barks as snacks every day on the trail and also reconstitute them into mashed sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
View the Fruit Leather Recipes submitted by BackpackingChef.com readers.