Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recipe: How to make fruit leather from Simply Recipes

fruit-leather-2.jpg A reader was wondering how to make fruit leather for her child who was allergic to the citrus in the commercial products. I came across a recipe this morning, so here is the link to the original post.  To replace the citrus, use either a light vinegar (like champagne, or white balsamic), verjus (sour grape juice), or perhaps a little powdered ascorbic acid (Vitamin C, which you can find at Whole Foods and other health food stores).  Perhaps tamarind -- which you can find at Latino or Indian stores.

The best tip seems to be to have a neighbor with a full-to-bursting fruit tree of some sort for a constant supply.  :)


How to Make Fruit Leather


  • Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes)
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar (if needed)
  • Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)


1 Rinse the fruit. If you working with stone fruit, take out the pits, chop the fruit. If working with apples or pears, peel and core them, then chop. If working with grapes, de-stem them.
Taste the fruit before proceeding. Note how sweet the fruit is. If very sweet (ripe Concord grapes for example) you will not need to add any sugar. If still a little tart, you may need to add some sugar in the next step.
2 Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. Uncover and stir. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan. Taste the fruit and determine what and how much sugar, lemon juice, or spices to add. Add sugar in small amounts (1 Tbsp at a time if working with 4 cups of fruit), to desired level of sweetness. Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time to help brighten the flavor of the fruit. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices to augment the flavor.
Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more).
Note if you are working with grapes - strain the juice out of the mashed grapes to make grape juice. Force what is left behind, after straining, through a food mill, to make the purée for the next step.
3 Put the purée through a food mill or chinoise. Alternatively purée it thoroughly in a blender or food processor. Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. The purée should be very smooth.
4 Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
5 Place the baking sheet in the oven, try to keep any plastic wrap from touch the sides of the oven or the oven racks. Also try to make sure that the plastic wrap hasn't folded back over on top of the purée. If this happens, the purée won't dry out. Heat the oven to a low 140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the purée. Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather. We usually keep it in the oven overnight, so about 8-12 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.
Alternatives to the oven. If you have a food dehydrator, this would be a great use of it. My mother suggested putting the tray in the weber grill, and leaving covered, in the sun all day. Sounds like a good trick, but I haven't tried it yet. My parents remember the traditional way of making fruit leather was just to tent the tray with some cheesecloth and leave it outside in the sun on a hot day.

6 When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it up from the plastic wrap. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
4 cups of fruit yield about one baking sheet of fruit leather.Advertisement


Gratefulfoodie said...

What a great and fun project to do with my food allergic kids. Thanks for sharing.

Do you have a favorite fruit or mixture?

Karrin said...

I'm very glad to have stumbled across you blog! I have many food allergies so these are great recipes.
I have just started a home made non dairy ice cream blog! Have a look if you get a chance.
Thanks for sharing!
home made non-dairy ice cream

Christopher Goff said...

Wow what an amazing idea. It semms allergy free food product. I will surely try it at my home.Thanks for sharing.

Food Allergy Queen said...

I still haven't had time to try this! If someone makes it, please send post it on my Facebook page to share! Thanks, the FAQ