From the Kitchen

Strawberry Fruit Leather

Every year my mom and I make Apricot Fruit Leather. It’s so good and super healthy. Since I posted it last year, someone asked if other fruit could be used. My mom remembers trying other flavors in the past, but always had the best success with apricots. So I decided to take up the challenge of trying some other flavors out. This week it was Strawberries and it turned out great.

strawberry-fruit-leather

I used the exact same recipe from Apricot Leather for the Strawberry. 2 cups strawberries, 2 T. honey, 1 T. lemon juice. Blend, spread, and dry.

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I’ve heard you can dry your leather in the oven at a very low temp, but I love to do it in the sun. I use these old drying racks, but you can use almost anything, as long as the top is covered with holes to let in sun and air, but keep out bugs and dirt. The Strawberry leather took a little bit longer to dry, an extra day, but still delicious. And I don’t even notice the little seeds.

Since Strawberry Leather was such a success, I’m on to peach and possibly plum. I will have to take off the skins of those ones and that may make it a little too time consuming to be worth it, well see. What fruit have you tried to dry before?

73 comments

  1. I’m impressed, I must say. Really not often do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve got hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the difficulty is something that not sufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very completely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

  2. We were looking for a fruit leather recipe with honey and stumbled on this site..all the comments were great..my strawberry leather with honey and lemon is in the oven as we speak..but from this site everyone mentions a blender of some sort..ours is broken ..would a cake mixer produce the same puree results?? Cooking is not my strength and lack knowledge on this one…I cooked it up then mixed it with a beater after reading the comments about a blender….thanks for a response from the pros out there

  3. I made the last comment…..I went in and looked at the oven controls….It’s more like 150 degrees. for 9 hours… But using the oven is real easy and bug free…I have electric oven….

  4. I use peaches, apricots,& strawberries.Not mixed together or you could if you wanted to Peal peaches,,,,,,,,apricots,& strawberries go in the blender unpealed..I add 3/4 cup sugar to 5 1/2 cups of peaches, and 1 cup of sugar to the 5 1/2 cups of apricot puree,,& 1/2 cup to 5 1/2 cups of strawberries..I went to the dollar store and bought 10 , 9 by 13 inch cookie sheets for a dollar apiece..I smeared a thin coat of margarine on the cookie sheet,,poured 1 cup of fruit puree on the cookie sheet….It takes 9 hours @ around 200 degrees to be leather,,,Some areas dry a little slower than other areas,,,It would dry better if the puree was spred evenly,,,but that is hard to do….The butter makes the leather NOT stick to cookie sheet….Hope this helps someone……

  5. We have an electric food dehydrator/drying ??…(not sure exactly what they are called:)….but it has been a super investment. So far we have onlyy used it 2 make venison jerky (delicious!)….i know that several differen types of ”trays” or racks are available 2 purchase, includinng one made 4 making your on fruit leathers. Does anyone know where I can purchase the different trays for a decent price? i believe the brand name is Nesbit. Would LOVE 2 make our own apple leathers, etc

  6. in your recipe, is the T for tablespoon or tsp?? thanks for the recipe, i have been wanting to try this since i was a little girl

  7. This has become a family favorite this summer! I’m trying out the sun-drying method now that it’s sunny and hot around here, but I saw that there were some questions about oven-drying it, so I thought I would share what I’ve found works for me.

    Starting in the evening, prepare the fruit leather puree and pour into cling-wrap lined cookie sheets (I’ve found 2 cups of puree is perfect for a 10×15 sheet). Warm your oven to between 140-150 F, place sheets in oven (the temp is low enough that it doesn’t melt the wrap), turn off oven, close door, leave overnight. The next morning, rewarm the oven to between 140 and 150 F, replace the sheets, close door, turn it off, leave it. After 3 hrs the leather will be almost done, but not quite, so re-warm the oven and do the same process, but continue to check the leather every 40-60 min. It should be done within 2 hrs.

    You could easily speed up this process by simply keeping the oven at 140F or by doing the warming/cooling cycles during the daytime. I figured this method out by starting the leather on a Saturday evening, warming the oven when I got up in the morning, and re-warming the oven again right before we left for church. The leather was done when we got back from church. I like how that worked out, so I haven’t tried speeding up the process at all. :)

  8. It wasnt any problem drying it in the oven, it was down really low, it was getting it off the foil that gave me problems, I gave up and binned it in the end

    I now have frozen all the strawberries I had, about 2Kg, until I can find a way of putting it on a tray and being able to remove it

    mmmm, maybe a non stick tray would work

    If I oil it or use anything like that, I think it will affect the taste, and who wanyt oily leather, be like eating a moccasin

  9. Derrick – I’ve never made fruit leather in the oven, so I am no help here. But you are making me want to give it a go and try to figure it out too. I’m sure there are some sites out there to find on Google. Have you had an luck searching there?

    If you make it again and have success, let me know.

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

  10. mmm, not very successful using aliminium foil,

    I couldnt get the leather from it, it had dried out really well

    What can I use on the foil to make it ‘non stick’ ? or at least so I can take it off, olive oil, butter, margarine, PAM ?

    Back to the drawing board, we try again if any one replies, with suggestions

  11. I got some in the oven now, it smells great, but not really sure what the temperature is,

    I have a gas oven, I have it as low as possible (anyone know how to work out gas numbers to temperature ? )

    Oh, well, just have to wait and see

    Never tried this before, but went to a PYO and got a couple of kilos of strawberries and cherries, going to try the strawberries first, and if people stop pinching the cherries and I have enough left I’lll try them, next (if there are any left)

  12. When my daughter was young we made it an outside “kids n’ moms” thing. I picked the apricots & nectarines from the trees planted when she was born. Her godmom & her 3 kids joined us in the backyard that was set up to process all of the great fruit we had. In swimsuits & aprons the kids pitted the fruit, while the moms added fruit fresh and as little sugar as possible- to 2 cups fruit-1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar . We used an old food processor,pulsed apricots coarsely, adding sugar & f.f.,dumped into freezer bags to use as needed. Our outdoor oven was not sulfitted. We’d made our own food dryer. A 10″wide plank was our “base board”. A frame made of 1×2″ was set to stand over top of base. stapled to the top of the frame was cheesecloth so flys & other insects wouldn’t dry into our leather. Apricots make a thicker leather than strawberries,I’ve just found out. Plastic wrap is stapled or taped at edges to lay flat under edge of framed cheesecloth- start @ one end of base-slant up-pour fruit stuff till it fills up sides and ends. (it will be a little thicker than most-like soft-set jello vs.just cooled=slow pour vs juice-?plop plop not thawed icee consistancy) put on level surface,preferably in sun,weight frame if windy, and 79-hotter will have dried by 3 or so if started by 9-10 am.remove frame,cut length of base(ours was 8’x10″-6-7 lengthwise cuts x6-12″ long) making @50-60 very fat thick leather rolled up right off the base & bagged in lots- eat now,later,freeze for way later. It never lasted but a few days..but we hadf processed plenty for future use for just had to thaw out for leather, jams,syrups,even ice cream. Best of all, the kids & moms got gooey, hot sweaty and slimey..and the kiddies “built-in” flip n fill pool was right there to wash/cool off in. We had a ball..now so are their kids-my granddaughter & son, mom, and gramma.

  13. I’m going strawberry picking with my 11 month old toddler on Memorial day! I know how easy it is to pick too muchj fruit and I also know how quickly strawberries go bad so I’m going to try this…

    I’m leery of using Honey though because its not recommended for consumption by kids under a year because of potential botulism spores (yes shes close to a year, yes i’m paranoid).

    Do you think i could substitute agave nectar?

  14. Just to make sure – you didn’t peel the skin off the apricots, right? You just blended them without the pit?

  15. I can’t wait to try this. We have strawberry fields close by in June so I can pick the best looking strawberries. I too would love to know how long you can keep it

  16. I made strawberry leather in the oven – set at 200 for about 4 hours. The parchment paper worked great I thought. It peels right off. It doesn’t roll up tight though. I would make it again this way.

  17. Victoria – I’m not quite sure. I’ve not dried it in the oven yet. I would say maybe 200 degrees for 4-5 hours. But I’m not sure if plastic can be put in the oven like that, so I’d try using wax paper or tinfoil as the bottom layer. These are just suggestions, as I haven’t done this before, but if you try it, let me know how it goes.

  18. what a great site. I found you looking for fruit leather recipes and will have to bookmark you now because you have so many other things I’m interested in making. brilliant x

  19. My mom and I used to make fruit leather when I was a little kid. I loved it. It was sticky and messy. But without her to clean up after me anymore, I am now learning the free ride that I got from her. I went searching on the internet, and found a company that had the original recipe for fruit leather. We started selling their product on our website and would love to hear your comments if you think it tastes as good as your homemade batch. A little less messy, but hopefully just as tasty and fun!

    http://www.nutsonline.com/driedfruit/fruit-leather/

    Look forward to hearing your comments.

  20. Thanks for the tips on strawberry leather. I’m going to try the lemon juice.

    In my opinion, peaches are the best all around fruit for leather. I buy seconds, (cheap and ripe), take out the pits, and grind them up skin an all, The skin is a god addition, not a concession because I’m lazy. Peaches “leather up” so well that I use them mixed with others, like cherries and raspberries, that are either expensive, time consuming, or don’t “leather up” so well.

    You might try sprinkling a little powdered sugar on finished leather if you want to sweeten. That is, if you’re not opposed to refined sugar. Adding sweetners to the mix can make it more brittle and less leathery.

    Thx

  21. I found the drying racks on the internet, but then had an idea. I went to our local home supercenter and bought premade screens. I used them exclusively to make leather and much cheaper.

  22. Apricot leather tasted yum…………..my kids loved it.Have you tried it with mangoes.I use Indian Alphonso mangoes.You don’t need honey just the lemon juice………tastes great.

  23. Fairly Odd Mother – Are you saying that you made just dried whole strawberries, or puree strawberries for leather? Either way, I’m wondering how high your temperature was. I’ve dried whole fruit before, but the temp for the oven needs to be way way low, like 200 or something. I’m sure there’s more on the internet about that.

    If you’re talking leather, this recipe does call for lemon juice that helps in keeping the fruit from browning, so maybe that was missing from what you’ve done before, like what Vicki said! Try that and see if it helps.

    Becky Sue – I’m not exactly sure, but my Mom has had some around for a few months at a time, at least. How she can not eat it all is beyond me. I’m usually the one who finishes it off. It does need to stay wrapped pretty well in the plastic, or it will get hard and crunchy, even though I still eat it that way, I LOVE it!!

  24. Fairly Odd Mother – The lemon juice in her recipe probably keeps the brown away. I know when you add apples or bananas to a fruit salad (or don’t use a cut avocado right away), you’re supposed to squeeze lemon juice over them to keep them from browning. I assume the same principle applies here. :-)

  25. Sigh, I don’t know what I did wrong but I tried to dry strawberries once (oven method) but they stayed wet for waaaay too long and then were kind of brown by the time it all started to set. It wasn’t appetizing and they didn’t taste very good but I”m not sure what I did wrong since it was over a year ago that I attempted this. Yours look BEAUTIFUL and perfect. If I can get a bunch of strawberries I’m willing to sacrifice to try this again, I will. Fingers are crossed!

  26. I use a dehydrator (yardsale find!) and use applesauce and pureed fruit. We mixed the strawberry w/ applesauce last season- tasted like strawberry.
    I have also plopped diff flavors on teh same tray for a mixed roll. And used babyfood mixed with generic applesauce (a friend gave me her no longer needed jars of babyfood).

  27. I make fruit leather every year using a dehydrator – but I don’t add the honey. I truly simply blend the fruit and pour it out onto sheets. In anywhere from 10-16 hours in the dehydrator it is done. My favorite as a child was apricots – but my kids love apple the best (using applesauce). I have also mixed berries with applesauce and it tastes great!

  28. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! My mother passed away 7 years ago and this is a recipe that wasn’t recorded. I knew that she used honey and she would lay it out in the sun to dry and roll it up just like you! I was so excited to see what you did!! This is a childhood favorite of mine! Thank you Thank you!

  29. I love to dry fruit and the kids love the project too.

    If you are searching for some more meatless (and healthy!) recipes for your family, you may want to take a look at http://www.meatlessmonday.com.

    I work with the Meatless Monday Campaign, a nonprofit public health campaign. They have a big collection of meatless recipes on their website that you may want to try!”

  30. I have a little one and I know they are not supposed to have honey before one year. Have you ever used anything else to act as a binding agent or tried it without the honey?

  31. Hi- I recently saw an episode of “Good Eats with Alton Brown” where he made beef jerkey. He used Air Conditioner filters as drying racks for the jerkey- one on bottom, one as a cover. I think these would work great for the fruit leather! Just a thought…

  32. Caroline – Great tip about the peaches and blanching them to get the skins right off. I bet it would work for the plums too.

    Hev – great project for the kids!

    Brian – I dare you to try those! I bet some would be good. I can’t wait to try your cauliflower leather!

  33. I’m interested in trying vegetable leather. First, I’ll start out with string beans and then move on to corn. If that works out, I’ll try cauliflower and potato.

    I’ll keep you posted with the results.

    -Brian

  34. I’ve made some fruit leather with the flavored applesauces in a dehydrator (I tried the oven but it burned). My daughter liked the idea at first, but hasn’t quite adapted to it, she prefers the fruit rollups. I want to try pumpkin rollups, just need to get everything to do it. I’ve thought about using some leftover babyfood too.

    I’ve got a friend that dries cranberries (she adds some sugar to them though so they’re not as sour) and grapes (to make her own raisins), but doing those in the sun might take too long.

    As for peeling the peaches, when Mom and I canned peaches, we blanched them and then the skins popped right off whole. It would probably work with Plums too.

    1. To remove skin from fruit ..freeze unwashed in freezer bags.When you need some… rinse under hot water or put in bowl of hot water..rub between hands……..THE SKIN FALLS RIGHT OFF..you do not waste any fruit Wait a minute or so and you can easily slice..I put 4 peaches or nectarines or plums in a bag.They are always there for a quick pie or fruit smoothie or rollup..Be sure to use freezer bags..I reuse these ..to double bag also…JUST WASH OUT AND DRY…Took me 74 years to learn this now I want to share with everyone….

  35. For the drying racks, they actually came from my Mom’s fruit dryer at home. I didn’t want to lug the whole dryer to my house, so I just took the racks to use in the sun.

    You don’t actually need racks. You can use any kind of tray to lay your plastic on. And you don’t really need anything on top either. I do put a screen on top to keep the bugs out, but let air in.

    What other things have any of you used to dry the fruit?

  36. Sorry, I must be dense, but what are those drying racks for exactly? How do I find them?

    I saw a mom feeding fruit-by-the-fruit to her kid on a plane the other day. I thought it would be a great travel snack but would much prefer a homemade recipe to one with processed garbage in it.

    Thanks!

  37. My mom used to make plum, it is delicious. It was my favorite fruit leather flavor and I don’t even like fresh plums. I remember there being big flecks in it; I think she might have left the skin on. Besides strawberry she also tried strawberry banana which was pretty good and apple.

  38. Hi Marie! That looks so good! We used to make apple butter when I was a kid (basically you make applesauce, add a fair bit of cinnamon, then cook it down all day–we used a crockpot) then make fruit leather out of that. Such a fond memory from childhood :) We’re headed out to visit my parents in a big agricultural center in California tomorrow and we’ll be doing a lot of fruit picking. We’ll plan to try it there!

    http://www.kiddio.org

  39. I have many happy memories of my grandma’s apricot fruit leather. Thanks for the recipe, and for working out the kinks of the strawberry…that looks awesome!

  40. i have made strawberry, blueberry/peach, peach and a mixed berry. my little boy loves them all and would just eat them like there is no tomorrow. i haven’t made any yet this summer though.

  41. I’ve never tried it before, but it looks very do-able. Would you mind sharing where one can buy the drying trays?

  42. I actually have a Sunbeam Fruit Drier. I have dried my own fruit plenty of times but have never tried the fruit leather because I didn’t have a recipe now I might have to give it a go.

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