What to Do with Less-Than-Perfect Peaches – Fruit Leather

Peach and Ginger Fruit Leather - The Messy Baker

09 Aug What to Do with Less-Than-Perfect Peaches – Fruit Leather

Fruit Leather - Peach & Ginger - The Messy Baker

You don’t need a dehydrator to make fruit roll-ups, but if you’re looking for an excuse to buy one, these will seal the deal.

What do you do when you have less-than-perfect peaches squatting on your counter, threatening to dissolve into a mouldy heap before dinner?  I usually peel and eat them on the spot, dripping juice over the sink. Okay, then what do you do with the ten remaining peaches? You can bake them into a cobbler, spoon them over shortcake, fold them into muffins, feature them in upside-down cake, freeze them, or … You can try out that fancy new dehydrator you just bought and make fruit leather.

“Another gadget?!” you ask in an accusing tone. Yes, another gadget, and a handy one at that. In my defence, I blame the food. And my oven. If the food wasn’t so good I wouldn’t want to preserve it. And if my new range was designed by a cook and not an engineer, I could dry tomatoes and other goodies from my garden in the oven. But my new high-end, uber-sensitive cooker gives nothing but error messages for any setting under 175°F. So much for dried herbs.

In an act of defiance I bought a dehydrator. And I’m loving it.

After setting it to 135°F I dried cherries (addictive), blueberries (intoxicating) and strawberries (surprisingly disappointing – must fiddle with this). I dialled things down to 95°F and turned fresh lemon verbena and chocolate mint into herbal tea. Encouraged by my successes, I just had to test-drive the insert for fruit leather.

Have Dehydrator Will Leatherize

Yes, you can make fruit roll-ups in a regular oven using a rimmed baking pan lined with a silicone mat, but I had to justify my purchase.  The only issue with the dehydrator is the shape. It’s round. You don’t get nice long strips. You get wedges. So I rolled them like croissant dough. No one complained.

Fruit Leather - rolled and ready to eat - The Messy Baker

I thought fruit leather was just for kids. But my batch disappeared thanks to the 40+ crowd. I even found myself wandering into the kitchen for “just one more strip.” This recipe, with its ginger and vanilla, never got tested on a child. I think the collective age of the testers was 193. Will kids like it? I hope not. I don’t think the adults around here want to share.

Fruit leather - The Messy Baker

Peach and Ginger Fruit Leather
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 large baking pan or 2 dehydrator trays
 
Whether you use a dehydrator or your oven, fruit leather is a great way to use up less-than-perfect fruit.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups ripe peaches
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Instructions
Dehydrator
  1. Line 2 dehydrator trays with fruit leather sheets lightly coated with vegetable oil. Set dehydrator according to manufacturer instructions. Mine has a “fruit” setting at 135°F.
Oven
  1. Line a large rimmed baking pan with a silicone mat. Preheat oven to its lowest setting (usually 140 to 175°F).
Dehydrator or oven
  1. Peel and chop peaches, removing bruises and soft spots. Purée the peaches, lemon juice, ginger, vanilla and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste. Add more honey if needed. A lot depends on how sweet your peaches are to begin with, so go by taste.
  2. Pour fruit purée onto prepared sheets / pan to about ¼-inch thick. Spread with a spatula if the fruit purée doesn’t self-level. Save left-over purée for a smoothie. Resist the temptation to pour extra-thick purée. The leather will crack and not dry out properly.
  3. Cook, undisturbed for 6 to 12 hours, or until the fruit is dry to the touch yet pliable.
  4. While still warm, turn the fruit leather onto a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Cut it into wedges (for dehydrator trays) or strips (for baking pan), roll and store in an airtight container. I have no idea how long it keeps since all the roll-ups were eaten within 2 days.

 

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8 Comments
  • Judith Rutty Godfrey
    Posted at 18:14h, 10 August Reply

    WooHoo! I’m excited that some of my peach bounty went into ‘leathers’ today! My oven’s lowest temp is 170 degrees and it took about 7 1/2 hrs. before the concoction was just right. I probably could have cut back on the time a bit as I actually used scissors to cut them into triangles for rolling. Simply a super fun recipe which I’m sure I’ll be doing again_like tomorrow maybe. Thanks Charmian!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 06:57h, 11 August Reply

      Glad to hear they turned out. Your timing sounds about right since it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours (or more!). I should have been more specific in my instructions. I used scissors to cut mine, too. Between the parchment and the fruit leather, you would need a really sharp knife, but scissors are easiest

      Neat that you cut them in triangles. I had no choice but think they “croissants” look rather pretty. Either way, they are tasty. Can’t wait to try this with raspberries!

      Thanks for taking the time to share your results.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 15:49h, 16 August Reply

    These look really good. I have so many ideas flying through my head. Bananas, pineapple, blueberries. So many options! I once saw a cake/cupcake decoration, using a fruit roll up. They just rolled up the fruit rollup and peeled back the layers like petals. It looked easy!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:47h, 17 August Reply

      Wonderful.Let your imagination fly. I did a peach and blueberry version that was nice. Pineapple would be great. You can add flavouring so a few drops of coconut extract could make you a pina colada. Love the cake decorating idea. Endless possibilities. The only limits seems to be time.

      If you do make fruit leather, I’d love to hear about your results.

  • Amanda
    Posted at 17:40h, 03 September Reply

    Love your last picture! It reminds me of the carpet store, but in a good way :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:43h, 03 September Reply

      Ha! I love it. I know just what you mean. I did think it looked like carpet rolls when I took the shot. Only I guarantee this tastes a lot better than a rug.

  • Kristal Gray
    Posted at 20:12h, 27 April Reply

    My fruit leather has been in for 4 hours and is already starting to crack…should i take it out???

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:37h, 27 April Reply

      I’d go by texture more than timing. If it’s leathery at 4 hours then take it out. Hope you enjoy the fruit leather!

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