I’ve seen plenty of recipes for fruit leather using very low temperatures in a traditional oven. But I freed myself from having to fool around with that when I bought myself a refurbished food dehydrator for Mother’s Day a couple years ago.
I find myself using the machine more during the summer and the fall when we are suddenly surrounded by fresh local produce. And since we’re on the go so much more during the summer, I’m sure we’ll have no problem using up whatever I can find time to make.
There is a great deal of flexibility in this recipe. I’ve used all different kinds of berries along with the applesauce.
2 cups unsweetened applesauce, preferably organic*
1 pint fresh strawberries, preferably organic*
Lightly grease two dehydrator tray liners and place them on trays. (My trays are 15-inches square. You may need more or less trays if your machine isn’t a similar size.) Set aside.
Wash and hull the strawberries. Combine strawberries and applesauce in a medium mixing bowl. Puree the mixture with an immersion/hand blender until smooth.
Transfer half of the mixture to each prepared tray and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon until it is approximately 1/4-inch thick. A large offset spatula might do an even better job of spreading.
Place trays in dehydrator for 4-20 hours depending on the machine, thickness of puree, etc. Set temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Mine only takes about 5 hours at this temperature. Rotate the trays a couple times if you think of it.
When the puree has dried completely (I always seem to have one stubborn thick spot.) remove it from the tray and cut it into 2-inch wide strips. Layer strips with wax paper and store in an airtight bag or container. The roll ups, if completely dry, will keep for months.
Yield: 13 2 x 12-inch strips
Prep-time: 10 minutes
Dehydration-time: 4-20 hours
*Note: I encourage using organic ingredients in this recipe because the food, along with any pesticides it may contain, is concentrated by the process of dehydration. At least, that’s what I read somewhere once. I’m not entirely sure if it’s really an issue.