Find or share a fruit leather recipe here.
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.
First, I’ll cover the basics of how to make fruit leather on this page. On the next page you will find all the fruity recipes that have been shared and the form to share one of yours.
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.
Grape seeds are packed with healthy nutrients, but they aren't all that fun to eat. A powerful blender will pulverize seeds and release the nutritious components, so they will be readily absorbed during digestion.
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.
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.
Most of the time, you will dry the fruit raw. But, sometimes you can create a masterpiece by cooking down the fruit to intensify the sweetness, as if you were making jelly. Try cooking grapes as described below.
Cooking Blended Fruit
The photo above shows 100% Concord Grape Leather cut into strips after drying.
Concord grapes are small but have two or three hard seeds inside them. To break-up the seeds and to intensify the natural sweetness of the grapes, I ran a pound of grapes through a blender and then cooked them. After bringing them to a boil for a couple of minutes, I simmered them on the lowest setting for one hour. I then ran the cooled and reduced grape slurry through the blender again and spread the mixture on one Excalibur Dehydrator tray with a Paraflexx sheet. The leather dried at 135° for ten hours.
The resulting grape leather, with no other ingredients added, was sweet and delicious with crunchiness to make it interesting. Any kid would love it as much as I did.
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 sauce 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.
Fruit Leather Recipes I enjoy:
In Recipes for Adventure, I devote a section to making fruit leather.
I show how to make Apple Sauce Leather & Mango-Banana Leather...
and turn them into pudding on the trail.
I also show how to make Fruit Root Leather & Pudding with sweet potatoes, apples and bananas.
You will also enjoy the traditional and "fruity" rice pudding recipes.
Next topic: More Fruit Leather Recipes
Delicious fruit leather recipes shared by BackpackingChef readers.
Sweet 'Tater Taffy, Mulberry-Sour Cherry, Vanilla Scented Strawberry-Rhubarb, Fruity Jello, Pineapple-Coconut and more!
Share one of your own!
Return to: Dehydrating Food Table of Contents
How to dehydrate meat, vegetables, fruit, potato bark, fruit leather, tomato sauce, rice, soup, dog treats, vacuum sealing and much more.