Patterned Fruit Leather




About: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, and cake decorator. I also can't stop taking photographs! I have a genuine love and appreciation for all things creative and handmade.

I can't help but sneak a fruit leather from my boys every now and then. They are chewy, sweet and delicious. Since the organic version I buy only come five to a box I find it hard to buy them on a consistent basis. So, through much trial and error, I learned to make them in my oven and have fun doing it!

The process is very simple - purée fruit, spread thin on a silicone mat and dehydrate. You can do these steps in many different ways but this is my take on it.

You will need the following:
- two sheet pans
- two silpats or silicone mats
- three cups unsweetened applesauce
- four to five fruit purées
- four to five squeeze bottles
- juice of one lemon
- honey
- parchment paper
- oven or food dehydrator of some kind
- clean kitchen scissors

These rolls make great gifts and great snacks for home or at a picnic. They travel very well so keep a few in your purse/bag for those unexpected snack cravings!!

Step 1: Make Fruit Purees

Use as many different fruits as colors you want in your patterned fruit leather keeping in mind that the base of the leather is applesauce.

I used: strawberries, kiwi, peaches, blueberries, and wild black raspberries (that we picked as a family while hiking!). Once the blueberry and black raspberries were cooked down the color was so similar I couldn't tell the difference.

There are two basic ways to make fruit purée. You can cook it down and then blend it or you can just blend it without cooking first. Either way works fine. It's really personal preference.

Fruit Puree
1 c. Fresh or frozen fruit
1 1/2 t. Honey
1 t. Fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan over medium heat add fruit and honey and cook approximately five minutes stirring occasionally. One fruit is soft and has released some juices remove from heat. Using an immersion blender blend fruit to a smooth consistency. Add lemon juice and stir. Pour purée into a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to use. Repeat with remaining fruits.

**The honey is not to add sweetness so do not substitute sugar. It is to make the leather more pliable once it has finished dehydrating. 

**Strain any fruit purée that has unwanted seeds with a sieve. If the fruit is cooked and blended first straining seeds is very simple and quick. It takes much longer If you don't take these steps first.

Step 2: Prepare Pans and Decorate

Turn two sheet pans upside down and place a silpat on each. Turning the pans upside down will make smoothing the applesauce much easier.

If you don't have silpats you can line your pans with plastic wrap. I think the stuff is toxic, especially when heated, but choose what ever method works best for you.

Using a spreading knife or spatula smooth 1 1/2 c. applesauce on each silpat to approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Using prepared purées squeeze out any pattern you want! My boys were not home while I made these but this would be a really great activity for kids. I plan on doing it again with them soon!

Step 3: Dehydrate Fruit

The traditional and easiest way to make fruit leather is in a dehydrator, however, I do not own one, so.......this is the 'in the oven' method.

Once your purée is ready set your oven to the lowest setting. I used a corded meat thermometer (picture does not show accurate temp) to keep track of the oven temp. My oven has a 'warm' setting with the next setting being 200 degrees F. When I set my oven on 'warm' my thermometer read 230 degrees F so I couldn't trust my settings!!! Most Instructions for oven dehydrating will say to keep the temp around 140 degrees F but I have to keep mine at 160 to get the fruit to dry out properly. Every oven is different so you will have to struggle a bit to get it just right if you are trying this in your oven too.

I did not keep the oven door open and it worked fine. Many instructions call for keeping the door cracked open. Since it is summer you may also want to avoid 100 degree temps spilling out into your kitchen!!!

I have read and heard you can dry fruit in the sun, which would be great, but after doing it in my oven I think it would literally take days! I have also seen solar dehydrators and people attempt this in their cars and they seem to have success.

Once your fruit can easily peel from the silpat and is no longer sticky to the touch it is done! This took me approximately 12 hours.

Cut into strips using kitchen scissors and roll in strips of parchment paper. Tie with a piece of butcher string if desired. Store in an airtight container. Don't worry about how long they will keep because they won't be around long enough anyway!!

Eat your creations with a smile. They are delicious!



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    21 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If you find that you have left over puree from making this fruit leather there are many things you can do with it. Don't let all of those vitamins and antioxidants go to waste!

    We let the kids squeeze it on waffles and pancakes, we added it to unsweeened homemade applesauce and made a few flavored margaritas!!

    Just a few ideas!


    2 years ago

    the food dehydrator I have has a couple of fruit leather trays. I like your creativity with the different coloured fruits rather than just mixing them all together. You've inspired me to give it a whirl - thanks!

    wold630armored bore

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 2

    I have tried parchment paper and it absorbs the moisture from the applesauce and stretches and tears very easily. I don't think it is a good idea to put wax paper in the oven but I don't know much about freezer paper. If there is some kind of coating on it I wouldn't be comfortable heating it with food. I will do some research on it.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is some fantastic edible art. I will give this a try during our cold winter months to heat up the house. Very cool and I love the roll up with twine

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. Let the kiddos squeeze the fruit to make their own edible art! I'm still bummed mine weren't home when I did this but I will try it again with them soon!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time! I love it! My favorite are the circles. It reminds me of looking into a microscope. This is going into my favs for sure! 2 thumbs up!

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! The circles were so fun to make. I want to make more soon and let my boys scribble and draw with the purée. What kids don't like squeezing stuff everywhere!!?? My oldest son already asked why his name wasn't on them. There's an idea!!! Thanks again!

    You never cease to amaze. Every time I click on one of your Instructables, I am blown away by the creativity and originality of the things you make. Awesome job, and I can't wait to see what's next!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, I don't even know what to say - that is such a nice comment. I'm glad I can impress in some ways!! Thank you.

    Mar HK

    6 years ago on Step 2

    What about parchment paper? I use it under stained glass cookies and the sugar peels right off it without incident. Safer than plastic wrap, too.

    1 reply
    wold630Mar HK

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I have tried parchment paper and the applesauce has too much water content so the paper wrinkles and stretches. Definitely safer than plastic wrap though. The silpats work like a dream!


    6 years ago on Step 3

    As you mentioned, some people attempt drying the fruit in their cars. I am one of them. My car, which is black, tends to top out at about 210 degrees F. Being in Colorado, it is generally so dry that it took only 6hrs for something similar reach it's point of "doneness". This method does keep the house much cooler when doing it.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    This is good to know and gives me some confidence to try it in the car sometime. I have a flat black roof that gets extremely hot also so maybe I should try that too. Unfortunately where I live it is very humid. Thank you for commenting! :)

    I just love what you have done with this idea! Not only making them fun and colorful, but then making them into rolled up strips! Gosh, that looks delicious :)