Easy ‘Leftovers’ Fruit Leathers

Ingredients:

1 pint unsweetened applesauce
half pint of jam/jelly

Equipment List:

dehydrator (or oven)

ParaFlexx sheets or parchment paper

spatula, ladle, whisk, and large bowl

scissors

twine or tape

jar or bag for storage

Wondering what to do with older preserves from the previous year?  With a dehydrator, some applesauce, and jam or jelly, you can easily make your own delicious fruit leathers!  Fruit leathers are an easy and delicious way to use up your preserves and clear shelf space before the new canning season arrives!

**This will yield roughly two large ParaFlexx sheets worth of fruit leather. You can double or triple this recipe to make more at one time, especially if you have the Excalibur 9-tray Food Dehydrator at your disposal.

Step one:

Previously canned pints of applesauce for this project work perfectly. Store bought applesauce works just as well.  A 1/2 pint of strawberry jam is used in our example, but note- if your applesauce is sweetened, and your jam or jelly has a lot of sugar in it, the result will be a very sweet, candy-like fruit leather.

Put your applesauce and jam or jelly in a large bowl and whisk until completely combined.  Remember, the combinations and possibilities are endless.  Preserves and jams make a chewier, chunkier textured fruit leather, and jelly makes a smoother, candy-like fruit leather.  The choice is yours!  Note: Jams or preserves with large fruit pieces will make it more challenging to dry evenly, but a quick pulse in a food processor can help this issue.

 

Step two:

Ladle about half of the mixture on your ParaFlexx sheets, making sure not to use so much as to make them too thick, or that they spill over the edge of the sheet when spread out. You can use a rubber or silicone spatula to gently smooth out the mixture over the sheet for even drying, keeping it around 1/8″ or so in thickness.  Tapping the tray on the counter firmly a few times can help even it out.  Place your sheets in the dehydrator and set the temperature to 135 degrees.  Leave them alone for 6-12 hours.  Before you go to work or bedtime is a good time to start drying them.  The more liquid in your mixture, the longer they take to dry.

Step three:

When you pull them out, check the consistency- they are called fruit “leathers” for a reason!  Touch with your fingertip to make sure they are no longer very sticky or tacky. They should still be soft and pliable.  If they are too thin or stay in the dehydrator for too long they can become brittle.  When they are done, place your leathers on parchment paper and cut them to your desired size.  Roll them up and tie with twine or a small piece of tape and store them in a bag or a glass jar!

Consume these treats within a month, or put them in a freezer-safe container and store them up to a year. And of course, you don’t have to use jam to make these tasty treats; fresh pureed fruit is also excellent for making fruit leathers. There is no limit to the creativity of flavors and textures you can come up with!