Drying - Fruit Leather
Fruit leather is fun and easy to make. A variety of fruits can be used for leathers including apples, apricots, bananas, peaches, and plums. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger nutmeg and mint can be added for a little extra flavor.
To make fruit leather, use a blender or food processor and puree about 1 cup of fruit chunks. To prevent darkening in light-colored fruits, add 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice per quart of fruit puree; or cook the fruit until soft and then puree. An optional step is to sweetened the fruit. If the puree is too tart, add 1 tablespoon honey or white corn syrup per quart of puree. Keep in mind that drying concentrates the sweet flavor, making the fruit leather taste sweeter than the puree.
Line dehydrator trays or cookie sheets (if using oven method) with plastic wrap. It is best to tape plastic wrap to tray on all four sides to keep it from blowing onto the leather. Pour pureed fruit onto plastic wrap and spread the puree by tilting the tray or cookie sheet to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Leave a 1-inch border to allow for spreading during drying. Dry at 130 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Another method is to follow directions of a food dehydrator.
Depending on the method of drying, fruit puree may take 6 to 24 hours to dry. Leather is done when it has a leathery appearance and is pliable enough to roll up, jelly-roll fashion. Test by separating leather from plastic wrap...if it separates easily the leather is done. When finished drying, remove the leather from the tray and cool briefly. Place leather on clean plastic wrap and roll up, so plastic separates layers of the leather. Store in a cool, dry place.
Source: KSU Drying Bulletin