to market: fruit leather

Remember when I wrote about buying too much at the farmer’s market? And how roasting is a great way to use all that gorgeous produce that’s now sitting in your kitchen?

Well – I did it again. Except this time with fruit. Specifically, peaches. To me, a peak-of-season peach is one of the most satisfying bites you can ever take. Trouble is, I go into a mild panic around this time of year. Will this be the last “good batch”? Did I buy enough? What if everyone in the house suddenly wants peaches and there won’t be any left? (Clearly it’s been a slow week around here…)

peaches, fruit leather

strawberries, fruit leather

Turns out, it WAS the last good batch, but I bought TOO much and NO ONE wanted peaches. What to do?

Make fruit leather.

Fruit leather is good. Homemade fruit leather is really good. And it’s a treat you can almost feel good about giving to your kids (certainly better than the commercial variety – though sadly, I’ve not figured out a way to make tattoos. Yet.).

And, like sorbet, fruit leather is most forgiving of less-than-perfect produce. Which means that if you (ahem) “overbuy” again – even late into the season – you can still make good use of your bounty.

The technique is similar to the apple-pumpkin version I made last year, and you can wrap them up “roll-up” style or “by-the-foot”.

I’ll get to work on those tattoos…

peaches, fruit leather

strawberry fruit leather

fruit leather

fruit leather

Fruit roll-ups
adapted from Martha Stewart Living

4 c. berries (chopped if using strawberries) or chopped stone fruit*
½ c. sugar
1 T. fresh lemon juice

In a food processor or blender, puree your fruit, sugar and lemon juice.

Cook in a saucepan over medium heat until thick, 20-30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Shake the pan to level.

Bake at 170 degrees until dehydrated, about 3 hours (puree should be just slightly sticky but not dry). Let cool for 10 minutes.

If you lined your baking sheet with parchment you can cut the dried fruit into desired shapes. If you used a Silpat, place a sheet of parchment (cut to the size of your baking sheet) on your work surface. Carefully invert the fruit and Silpat onto the parchment and peel the Silpat away.

Cut into eight rectangles, or about 13 crosswise “strips”. Roll up with the parchment and tie with twine or baker’s string. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month.

*if using peaches, peel the skin first. The easiest way to do this is to cut an “x” into the bottoms. Submerge each peach in boiling water for 30 seconds; remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water. The skins will slip right off.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

21 Responses to “to market: fruit leather”

  • GREAT idea…and I had to laugh when I read that you get stressed about “is this the last good batch?” I feel the same about apples – you know, when they do the bait and switch and eventually bring out the CO2 warehoused ones from last year.

  • I soooooo over-buy at the end of strawberry season! Good thing we have an ice cream maker!

  • I love it that you made fruit by the foot out of this! So cool. Can’t wait to try this for my 8 year-old.

  • Question! How thick is the layer on the pan when you pour it out? Very thin? Does it thin out as it dries in the oven?

    • sherisilver says:

      It’s very thin! It doesn’t really change thickness as it dries – and don’t worry if it’s not uniformly thick – it all works out in the end! 🙂

  • I’m a little scared to make this, I have to admit. But it’s actually Kayla’s favorite so I’ll try. I know where to go if it doesn’t work out 🙂

  • These are so pretty! And I totally forgot about the fruit roll up tattoos–too funny!

  • I stumbled upon your blog by accident and can I just say that it’s absolutely beautiful?

    I always thought that fruit leather was some long complex process, but you laid it down like a game of gold fish and now I’m making my shopping list for it. Thank you!

  • Re: Jodi’s remark and your question — I love my ice cream maker, Sheri. Earlier this year I bought the attachment that goes with the KitchenAid stand mixer and haven’t bought ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt since (except for the occasional scoop and the pint of froyo I bought for Melanie to apologize for my failed chocolate froyo experiment).

    I feel the same way about the in-season fruit and over-buying. I did the same with strawberries and peaches this year, worried that it would be my last chance to make anything with them. Fortunately I now have a few jars of strawberry jam and a whole bunch of peach jam. I also got a huge bag of Italian plums from a friend who didn’t know what to do with them, so I turned them into a couple of Plum Cakes.

    I love your idea, though, for turning out fruit leather. What a great idea! Now if only I could make a batch that looks anywhere near as beautiful as the batch you made, I could turn that leather into cash.

    • sherisilver says:

      Drew! There’s an ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchen Aid? That might just be the answer for me! And thank you for the compliment! 🙂

      • There sure is:

        I actually bought it to make some cereal milk ice cream from the Milk Bar cookbook. If you do get an ice cream maker, please also get David Lebovitz’s book The Perfect Scoop. I think Melanie would back me up on this rec.

        By the way, I love the new header and body-font choice.

        • sherisilver says:

          Thanks Drew! Will definitely look into this! And so glad you like the new blog look – I worked with a truly awesome graphic designer – perhaps you know her?

  • I love how you tie it up with string! Such a pretty touch.

    • sherisilver says:

      Thank you! I have a bit of a string/twine “thing”.. 🙂

    • Know how to get free string? If you have dogs and buy big 15 pound bags of dry dog food, when you open the pull tab, there is a line of string holding it together. I am so cheap, I separate the string from the pull tab and save it on a used toilet paper tube. I always have just the right length of string for things in the kitchen.

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