Fruit Leather with a Dehydrator
4 cups fresh fruit, any kind except bananas
1 envelope unflavored Knox Gelatin
2 teaspoons Fruit Fresh for subtle-flavored fruit like apples, melons, kiwifruit or berries OR 2 tsp. lemon juice for stronger flavored
sugar to taste
- Prepare your dehydrator trays (2). Line each with cling wrap that you have sprayed with a light coat of cooking spray. If you have the fruit roll up trays, lightly spray those instead. Set aside.
- Clean your fruit of all stems, pits, and bad spots. Peeling isoptional, depending on the fruit (you would want to peel citrus, or pineapple, for example, unless you have a Blender). Puree fruit until it is smooth. There will be lots of pulp, and that is what gives your fruit leather it's texture.
- Heat the puree over a low temp until it just barely bubbles. Add your lemon juice or fresh fruit and then your gelatin. Add only enough sugar to taste (I usually don't add any, but to each their own.)
- Remove puree from heat and keep stirring until it begins to thicken a little. Quickly pour out on the trays and spread if needed.
- Place trays into your machine and set the temp for midway to mid-lowest range. (if you don't have a temp control, open the vents completely). This should dry overnight. When finished, this should be dry to the touch in all places, and should want to lift from the try (or the wrap) in one flexible piece.
- Cut into strips or squares or whatever you like. I find that a pair of kitchen shears does this very nicely. Will store well, wrapped in cling wrap and put into a container with a tight fitting lid. I can't say how long, since the kids don't let them stick around more than a week or so at my house.
Two things to be aware of: Flavored Jello will not give you the same results. The leather will be more brittle and will not keep for more than four or five days after it is dried. You can use the same piece of wrap that you lined your pan or trays with if you cut the pieces while the wrap is still on the fruit leather. Saves throwing away this extra piece. The wrap doesn't keep it from spoiling, but keeps the pieces from sticking to each other.