Posted in appetizers/snacks, Food, Home Food Preservation

Apple-Apricot Fruit Leather

This week I decided to try my hand at making fruit leather.  I’ve had a great deal of success drying fruits and vegetables so I thought it might be fun to change things up a bit. My dehydrator comes equipped with various trays and supplies for drying fruits, vegetables, herbs, and leathers.  Using puréed fresh fruit, baby food, or applesauce make for quick and easy assembly.  Plug the dehydrator in just before going to bed and (in most cases) in the morning, you’ll have a delicious homemade treat that can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks in an airtight container.  You can also pop these treats into the freezer and they’ll keep for about 1 year.  

These were a big hit with my family.  I’ve got lots of fresh strawberries parked in the fridge so I think I’ll give this a try with puréed strawberries and honey next time.

Apple-Apricot Leather

1 (8 oz) jar puréed baby food

1-2 cups sweetened or unsweetened applesauce

In a medium bowl, mix applesauce with apricot purée.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture reaches 160 degrees.  Stir every few minutes.  

Cool slightly.  Spread mixture evenly on dehydrator fruit leather drying trays.



Drying times very depending on equipment, humidity in the air, and thickness of fruit.  Fruit leather usually requires at least 8 hours to set completely.  Follow manufacturer’s directions for specifics about varying drying times.  



Dry fruit at 140 degrees until no indentation is left when you touch the center with your finger.

While still warm, peel fruit leather from drying tray.

Quarter fold the fruit leather for slicing.

Slice into wedges or as desired.

Wrap well in plastic wrap for storage.

Store at room temperature in airtight container.



Here’s a great resource for important guidance when drying fruit…
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/fruit_leathers.html

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Posted in Baking, breakfast, Food, Home Food Preservation

Drying Your Own Fruit



One of my favorite ways to preserve fruits and vegetables is to thinly slice them and dry them in my dehydrator.  Drying is one of the oldest methods for preserving foods. This makes for a nutritious and convenient snack that needs little space for storage. There are two ways in which I dry fruits… I often purée fresh fruit in the blender, spread the purée on a dehydrating sheet and dry the product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I then wrap long strands of the dried leather in cellophane and store it in a mason jar.  Other times, I simply slice ripe fruit, process it in the dehydrator overnight, condition the fruit and package for a nutritious and high-energy snack.  Drying your own fruit at home is far less expensive than purchasing packaged dried fruits and can insure that there are no extra preservatives added to the fruit.















Some fruits suitable for drying include apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, and berries.  To process, carefully follow the directions that accompany your dehydrator or use a recipe from a reputable source.  These recipes  have been tested to reduce any food safety issues and boost nutritional impact.  If you are interested in making your own jams or jellies, pickles, salsa, fruit leather or dried fruit, here are a few sites that will provide you with an abundance of carefully tested recipes. 

The National Center for Home Food Preservation – http://nchfp.uga.edu

Drying Fruits and Vegetables Penn State Extension – http://extension.psu.edu/food/preservation/safe-methods/drying-vegetables

Ohio State Extension Food Preservation – http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/food-preservation