Fruit Leather
courtesy of Laurie Ann March

I often make my own fruit leather for backpacking trips and thought I should share the recipes and method with you.

First of all you will need a dehydrator with the solid plastic tray insert. If you don't have one of these trays parchment paper or plastic wrap will work fine. If you don't have a dehydrator you can use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper placed in a 150° F oven, with the door slightly ajar.

All fruit should be ripe or even overripe. Experiment with different fruits and combinations; just remember to use citric acid or lemon juice with fruits that will brown. I suggest tasting the puree first to see if you need to add sugar. You will need sugar when adding lemon juice and with fruits like rhubarb. Fruits such as watermelon do not work well for this.

Basic Instructions: Spread the mixture evenly on parchment paper. The mixture should be about 1/8 of an inch thick. Try to make the center a little thinner so that it will dry evenly. Place the fruit in your dehydrator or oven. The leather is ready when the edges are not sticky to the touch. Drying can take anywhere from 4 to 10 hours and I recommend checking it frequently in the last few hours.

Berry or Cherry Leather

4 cups of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, loganberries, boysenberries, cherries or a combination

Puree berries and strain through cheesecloth to remove any seeds. Please note that cherry and boysenberry leathers will remain sticky even when drying is complete.

Mango Leather

5 large mangos
Juice of 1 lime

Be sure that the mangos are overripe. Peel and puree the mangos.

Apple Leather - Method 1

2 pounds of apples
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup of sugar
Cinnamon (optional)

Lemon juice is essential to prevent the fruit from browning. You may also citric acid powder for this. Puree the lemon juice and the apples together. Blend in the sugar and add cinnamon if desired.

Apple Leather - Method 2

1 large jar of applesauce

Spread the applesauce on parchment paper.

Peach, Nectarine, Plum or Pear Leather

Peel fruit and cut up into small pieces and place into a pot of water. Bring the pot to a boil then remove the fruit. Make sure the fruit is well drained. Puree the fruit.

If you create a flavor combination that you would like to share please send it into us. We would love to hear your ideas.

© 2003 Laurie Ann March - courtesy of Outdoor Adventure Canada
use without the author's written permission is prohibited.

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