Fruit Leather Recipe

Responding to a perceived lack of information on the subject, a reader contributes her fruit leather recipe and a few other ideas.

| September/October 1974

I just finished reading all the back issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS—it took a couple of months but I certainly did enjoy them—and I don't remember seeing a fruit leather recipe. Thought you might like one.

The leather is lightweight, chewy and sweet, a good candy substitute. It would be fine for trips (journeys), for backpacking or just for a snack. You can make it of almost any fruit. I've used pear, apple, prune, and plum and want to try banana, cherry, apricot, blackberry, and strawberry in the future.

I wash, core, or pit my home-grown fruit and make it into a sauce in the blender (with just enough water added to keep the pulp from burning). You can spice the puree if you want. Apple butter flavoring is good.

Spread the pulp on a greased baking sheet, set the oven at 150° or as low as it will go and put the pan in with the oven door propped open. Leave it there several hours or until the fruit is tacky to the touch. Then turn the mass over and bake it some more until the second side is also tacky. Let the sheet stand overnight on a cake rack so that the fruit can dry out even more. (In a hot climate like Arizona's, you can dehydrate the sauce outdoors in the sun.)

Next morning, dust the leather on both sides with cornstarch. Tear off a sheet of wax paper a little bigger than the layer of fruit and roll both up together. Tuck in the ends of paper, fasten them with masking tape and date the package. Store the rolls in gallon jars (the kind cafes get their salad dressing in).

Fruit leather will last a long time. If you misplace the container—as I did once for, um... three years—chances are the fruit will still be perfectly good when you find it again. Mine didn't stay around long after that, though.

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