2 cups ripe or overripe fruit, washed, peeled (at least for tougher peels), and cut into chunks.
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Applesauce (optional) Materials
13 x 15-inch cookie sheet with an edge
Preheat oven to 140˚F.
Puree the fruit chunks till smooth. Add lemon juice (prevents light-colored fruit from darkening).
Add applesauce if you need to make it smoother and more liquid. Applesauce also decreases tartness and makes the leather more pliable. (You can make leather with applesauce alone, if you want to try this and don’t have ripe fruit available.)
Test for dryness by touching the center. If it’s ready, your finger will leave NOT an indentation. Peel the warm, dried fruit from the plastic, allow it to cool, then rewrap it in plastic.
To make this even more fun for children, get out the cookie cutters and let them cut out their own shapes.
If by any chance you have leftovers, roll and wrap in plastic. It will keep up to a month at room temperature, or up to a year in the freezer if tightly wrapped.
Oven directions: Line cookie sheet with plastic wrap and smooth out the wrinkles (don’t use aluminum foil or waxed paper). Spread the puree evenly, about 1/8 inch thick. Place the cookie sheet in 140˚F oven for about 18 hours.
Food dehydrator directions: A food dehydrator should come with a tray for making leather. But if it doesn’t, you can line your trays with plastic wrap. Fruit leather dried in a dehydrator takes 6-8 hours.