Homemade Fruit Leather and Apple Chips
My kids adore finding fruits in our garden...but the discoveries are even sweeter when we find enough to make our favorite snacks!
How We Did It
A few days ago, Maddie and I were thrilled to see this sign posted just three houses away from ours. A couple of these apples, mixed with our own (very first) small apples, and other fruits from our trees, and we had the makings of some amazing (healthy) treats. Can you say "snack time!"?
First we made homemade peach fruit leather. I peeled five peaches, and Madeleine cut them up into small slices.
Into the blender they go, with a couple of tablespoons of honey (to taste), and two teaspoons of lemon juice.
Blend your fruit until it's pureed. Check to make sure it's tasty! Does it need more honey? More lemon? Children love being in charge of these Very Important Decisions.
Line your cookie sheet (or baking pans) with plastic wrap, and pour your fruit into the bottom of the pan. The thickness will be determined by personal preference, so pour the puree according to how you like it--thin and pliable, or thicker for chewier fruit leather.
Rotate your tray to distribute the puree evenly over the pan, or use a spoon if that's easier. Put your oven on the lowest temperature (ours is 170f), and place your tray on the top shelf, with the oven door cracked open a few inches.
Check your leather at three hours. (You can tear off a piece to test its texture. I looked for spots that still looked wet or that felt tacky to the touch--both signs that the fruit needs to dry further.) Three to four hours should do it for thin fruit leather, four to five hours for thicker leathers (or for strawberry fruit leathers).
Out it up in strips, slices, or other shapes when it's done. We leave the plastic backing on, and just roll it up.
Variations: For strawberry leather, follow this same recipe, using four to five cups of strawberries. For apple and pear, use two large apples and two pears, adding a bit of water (a couple tablespoons at a time) into your blender to ensure a puree.
For wonderful apple chips, use four to five apples (no need to peel - just core them) and water, and proceed as above, using a plastic-lined 9x13 pan for 3-5 hours, checking at three hours. They're so fantastically crispy and delicious!