How to Make Dried Fruit and Fruit Leather

How to Make Heart-Healthy Dried Fruit & Fruit Leather
Gather your fruit. Pretty much any fruit will do. We had a lot of apples this year. Check it out!
First, wash your fruit
It doesn't matter if the fruit isn't perfect -- that's the beauty of dried fruit!
Next, pit and/or core your fruit.
Now you can slice up your fruit if you're making dried fruit. Here, we're using a mandoline but a good knife will do. If you're making fruit leather, you would chop it up and blend it either in a food processor or blender.
How do you like them apples!
Now, just lay them flat on the trays of your dehydrator.
Set your dehydrator's temp to 105 F. Wait about 5 hours to start checking. It takes about 8 hours total to dry fruit or set fruit leather.
The apple rings are looking just about done. Notice how the edges crinkle up and the fruit lightly browns.
And now fruit leather! Instead of slicing up the fruit, blend it up until it's smooth. What's nice about fruit leather is that you can throw all kinds of fruit in for some nice flavors. But make sure your tray is lined with a nonstick sheet or else it will drip straight through and make a big mess! Pour the liquid fruit mixture directly onto your nonstick sheet.
After about 8 hours, your fruit leather should have set and be ready to peel off the nonstick sheet.
Get a big piece of plastic wrap and place your fruit leather onto it. Now roll it up. Presto -- fruit leather!

Hi, it’s Karen. Even though fall is here, I’m sure many of you are still enjoying the fruits of summer. Here’s a good way to extend that bounty: dried fruit and fruit leather. It’s easy! Read more for my step-by-step tips.

bags of dries fruit
Dried fruit is a simple and healthy snack that you can have on the go. I have fruit trees and love to dry my fruit in the fall. But if there’s a sale on fruit, I’ll buy it too and dry it. It’s a great way to use fruit before it goes bad. It is easy to do and has a long shelf life. Here’s my simple method on how to dry fruit, plus make fruit leather.

You’ll need: fruit, dehydrator, nonstick sheets, knife, mandoline (optional), peeler, blender or food processor (for fruit leather) and plastic wrap.

driedfruit_wash - 400

I wash, peel, pit and slice my fruit, then lay it on the trays of the dehydrator. You can put the fruit down close, but do not overlap the fruit because it will dry together and become one big piece.  I put a nonstick sheet down to help with clean-up (my nonstick sheets came with my dehydrator, but you can purchase them separately if you don’t have any). You can also just lay the fruit right on the trays; it just sticks a little and makes it harder to clean the trays.

dried fruit_collander - 400Set the dehydrator temperature to 105 F. I rotate the trays every hour if I am home and not sleeping — yes you can dry fruit in your sleep!

temperature setting - 400
At the 5 hour mark, I like to turn my fruit over. I do this for a few reasons: One is that it helps the fruit not stick to the trays. Two, I can check where the fruit is at in the drying process. Three, I can take out any fruit that may be done (if you have thinly cut pieces, it may get crispy if you leave them in the whole time). You know it is done when it is dry but may still feel a little sticky. If I cut it a little thick, I just give it a squeeze. If it feels moist inside, it is not done. In all, it takes about 8 hours to dry fruit.

dehydrated fruit

How to make fruit leather: After you wash, peel and pit your fruit, instead of slicing it, chop it up and blend it until smooth (I use a food processor but a blender works too). Make sure the trays are fully lined with your nonstick sheets. Pour the mixture directly onto your sheet in the tray. It takes the same amount of time to dry, about 8 hours.

fruit leather_1 - 400
The fruit may rip off in big chunks and that is OK. Go slow and see what size you get.

fruit leather_2 - 400
Next, measure out a big sheet of plastic wrap and place your pieces on it.

fruit leather_3 - 380

Roll up the plastic wrap into the fruit to keep it from sticking and presto! Fruit leather.

Don’t have a dehydrator yet? There are many different brands of dehydrator. One that has great reviews is the Excalibur, which you can get by clicking the link below.

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