Making homemade apple leather is a great way to store extra apples in a healthy, fun way. Homemade apple leather can be fun since you can add different spices and ingredients to make fun varieties. This recipe is much healthier than fruit leathers from the store, since it is mostly fruit (including the apple peel) with very little added sweetener. The sweetener that I suggest is raw local honey, which I prefer any day of the week over high fructose corn syrup that is generally found in fruit rollups from the store. If you want, you can decrease or leave out the added honey altogether. Added sweetener is not necessary to dry the fruit – it is just a matter of taste and your personal preference.
This leather makes a great, healthy snack for kids (or adults)! It can easily be included in a lunch box, and is great for travel, hiking, or any day of the week!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CINNAMON-RAISIN APPLE LEATHER
4 large red apples, cored and chopped (no need to peel)
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
2-4 Tbsp raisins
- Chop the apples into pieces that are small enough to blend well in your blender (this may vary depending on the type of blender you own).
- Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend on high speed until the apple mixture becomes a smooth puree.
- Pour puree onto a lightly greased dehydrator sheet into a liquid layer that is about 1/4 inch thick. Using the back of a large spoon, smooth the liquid out over the sheet, leaving at least half an inch space at the edges of the sheet to prevent the liquid from spilling over the edges.
- Sprinkle raisins over the liquid mixture according to taste. (This step is optional, and you may leave the raisins out entirely and still make a great fruit leather.)
- Place the dehydrator sheet into the dehydrator at 135 degrees F for about 8-10 hours, until it has completely dried, but is still soft enough to bend and fold into a fruit roll.
Checking for dryness: Be sure to check the middle for dryness, since fruit leathers tend to dry starting at the edges and dry in the middle last. It should easily peel off the dehydrator sheet when it is sufficiently dry, and should feel slightly sticky, but not wet or moist. Do not overdry it, or the leather will become brittle and will be difficult to fold onto itself without breaking.
- To store fruit leather: Remove the leather from the dehydrator sheet (it should come off easily if the sheet was properly greased before drying). Place the fruit leather on plastic wrap or wax paper, and starting from one of the corners, roll the leather into a fruit roll. Place the leather into an airtight container for storage, and label with the date. Fruit leather will store well for 1-2 months in the pantry, several months in the refrigerator, and up to one year in the freezer.
Fun Option: When leather is partly dry (about halfway through the drying process), use cookie cutters to cut fun shapes in the leather. Then allow the leather to dry the rest of the way. I did this one night, and my kids were so excited when they saw the little “gingerbread men” in the morning. Your kids will love it!