Dehydrating fruit is an excellent preservation technique if you don’t have time to make jam and jar up whole fruits. Simply toss sliced or pureed fruit into the dehydrator of low oven and leave it be for hours. Dehyrdrating fruit is an awesome overnight project!
To make fruit puree, cut fruit of your choice into small pieces and add to a pot set over low heat. Depending on how juicy the fruit is, you may or may not need to add some water to the pot. Start small, adding only 1/2 cup of water at a time. As the fruit warms, it will release natural juices.
Cook the fruit down slowly until soft and pulpy. Add sugar to taste. I use about 1/2 cup for every 4 pounds of fruit and increase in small increments until the flavor tastes right to me. (I always opt for low-sugar snacks, so my fruit leathers are not super sweet.) Once completely soft, add to the bowl of a blender and puree, working in batches for a large pot of fruit. Pour fruit puree into a fine mesh strainer, and push through using a rubber spatula. This fine strainer will hold out seeds, skins and any tough fruit fibers.
Line a sheet pan or dehydrator tray with parchment. You may want to lightly oil the parchment first, which helps the leathers from getting stuck to the parchment once dry. Pour sieved fruit puree over the parchment, spreading to a thin, even layer – like icing a cake!
Put in your food dehydrator for 3 to 4 hours or turn your oven on the lowest heat setting and bake for 2 hours. If using a dehydrator, check every hour after the initial run to see if fruit leather is dry. If using an oven, turn the oven off after 2 hours, and without opening the door, turn the light on and leave the fruit in overnight. Check in the morning to see if the fruit leather is dry. Repeat process, as needed until fruit leathers are 100% dry or allow to finish drying at room temp should any moist spots on the leather remain.
Cut dried leather into strips, and roll. The parchment acts as an insulator and protects against further drying out. Store in your cupboard.