Fruit is an important part of a balanced diet and a good alternative to candy. Dried fruit and fruit leathers concentrate the sweetness of fruit, are easy to store and are great for backpacking. Using your microwave to make fruit leather eliminates lengthy drying time or bulky dehydrators. Mix and match favorite fruits to add excitement to brown-bag lunches or to keep on hand for a quick pick-me-up snack.
Things You'll Need
Wash, peel and pit the fruit. Good selections for fruit leather are apples, blueberries, bananas, peaches or pears. Blackberries and raspberries can be used, but the seeds can affect the texture of the finished product. High acid fruits like pineapple may affect the consistency of the dried leather.
Puree the fruit. An electric blender works well for this step, but you can use a hand-cranked food grinder instead. The fruit needs to be ground into small particles. The puree should be moist enough to pour easily, but should not be too wet. Commercial applesauce is the correct consistency. Sugar or honey may be added if desired.
Place a layer of plastic wrap on a microwave safe plate. Spread the fruit in a thin layer on the plastic wrap.
Elevate the plate in the microwave by placing it on a saucer that is turned upside down. Microwave at 50 percent power for five minutes or until the puree is no longer sticky. If it is still a bit sticky in the middle, continue to microwave in 25 second bursts. Watch the mixture closely to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Allow the fruit leather to cure at room temperature overnight. Roll up the finished leather in its plastic wrap. It can be stored at room temperature for up to a week.
Bananas and apples make great fruit leather.
Add cinnamon or other fruit-friendly spices for more interesting flavors.
References and ResourcesFood.com: Quick Fruit Leather
Cooks.com: Fruit Leather or Fruit Roll-ups
Jewish Food Mailing List Recipe Archive: Fruit Leather, Quick by Annice Grinberg