There’s often lots of gorgeous fruit around in most seasons now, and fruit leather is a good way to make use of any extra fruit – especially if it’s over-ripened. If you have the good fortune to have fruit trees and bushes at your house (or know someone who does!), this simple make your own fruit leather recipe will come in handy.
The great thing about fruit leather is that you can hide all manner of fruit and veggies inside the mixture. This is a great way to get your kids’ 5 plus a day of fruit and veggie in; even for the fussiest of eaters.
It’s really up to you what fruit (or vegetables) you choose to make your leather and almost anything will work.
You do need to prepare the fruit carefully and make sure that you remove anything that might make the leather taste bitter, such as peel, pips and core. You also, of course, need to remove and stones. The mix needs to be blended to a really smooth mixture so take out anything that won’t blend once cooked.
Fruit leather is a really handy snack to have on hand. It will store for a couple of weeks, just wrap it in plastic wrap, or roll it up in slices in it’s baking paper, and store in a sealed container.
They’re great snacks for kindy and school, obviously. But you can easily take fruit leather on road trips, family excursions, to the beach, etc. anywhere where a quick, sweet snack will keep the little one’s happy!
What you need to make your own fruit leather
- Ripe fruit and / or veges
- Lemon juice
- Sugar (if needed)
Fruit leather recipe
- Rinse the fruit and remove all the skin, stone, cores etc. Chop the fruit into small pieces.
- Place fruit in a large pot or saucepan. and add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring the fruit to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. You want it well cooked so that it will mash up well.
- 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 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 as this will help brighten the flavour of the fruit. You don’t want to add too much though so do it slowly.
- Continue to simmer the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more). You will need to keep stirring so that your mixture doesn’t burn.
- Put the purée through a food mill or purée it thoroughly in a blender or food processor. Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. Make sure the purée is very smooth.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper or tinfoil. Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about 1/4 – 1/2cm thickness.
- Heat the oven to a low 60 degree celcius. 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.You can also make fruit leather in a food dehydrator and this saves running the oven.
- When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it off the tray. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
For more great healthy lunchbox snacks ideas, check out 7 simple and healthy lunch box snacks for kids