Preserving Apples Deliciously: Fruit Leather Roll-ups

by Tammy Taylor~

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Apples, apples everywhere!  My aunt shared ten whopping bushels with us this year!  As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there were many delicious things we did to preserve the apples but I tried something new this year:  Fruit Roll-Ups!  I made the fruit leather using nothing but homemade unsweetened applesauce.  There was no need to add sweetener, the apples were sweet enough all by themselves! And then I made another batch where I stirred in about a tablespoon of cinnamon & made apple/cinnamon roll-ups.  It couldn’t have been easier!  I share many of the ways I preserved these fresh apples at the bottom of the post, but for now let’s check out these fruit roll ups!

In preserving all the fresh apples my aunt shared with us, I decided to make fruit leather roll ups. It was easy! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Of course you can use purchased applesauce but it’s super easy to make your own using fresh apples.   I used my *apple slicer/corer to peel, slice & core the apples and I chunked ’em into a slow cooker overnight.  Those apples cooked down into super-soft apple mush with lots of apple cider juice.  I wanted to enjoy the cider during the cold winter months so I drained & canned it to preserve it for later.  Then I used my blender to puree the soft apples into applesauce.  These apples were so sweet there was no additional sugar necessary.

Dehydrating The Applesauce

Now it’s time to turn that applesauce into fruit rollups.  I brought out my 9-tray *Excalibur Dehydrator and lined the trays with parchment paper.  Of course I could have just used my non-stick dehydrator sheets that I bought to go with my dehydrator but I was hoping once the leather is dehydrated I can cut the strips right through the parchment & roll them up without any other wrapping needed for it.  (spoiler alert: it worked GREAT!)

So I took about 2 cups of my homemade applesauce & placed it on a parchment paper lined dehydrator tray.  I used a dough scraper like *this one to smooth the applesauce into a thin layer.

In preserving all the fresh apples my aunt shared with us, I decided to make fruit leather roll ups. Spread The Applesauce Thinly. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Remember to leave the layer just a smidge thicker on the edges since they’ll dry first.  You don’t want the edges to dry so much that it’s hard & crunchy.

In preserving all the fresh apples my aunt shared with us, I decided to make fruit leather roll ups. Be sure to leave the applesauce slighly thicker on the edges. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Then I repeated until all the trays were loaded with fruit-leather-to-be and slid the parchment-lined trays into the dehydrator.  The temperature was set to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and then I just walked away & went on with my life  for awhile.  Some recipes call for a hotter temp but I stuck with 125 and it worked great for me.

In preserving all the fresh apples my aunt shared with us, I decided to make fruit leather roll ups. It was easy! #TaylorMadeHomestead

About a couple of hours later I checked on progress & rotated the trays to make sure everything dried evenly.  A few hours later the leather was dry.  So it took my leather about 7 hrs to dry to my satisfaction.   Now remember your actual drying time will vary.  My time was based on my dehydrator, the temp I set it on, the humidity in our air, how thinly I spread the applesauce, etc.  Whatever your conditions are – you want to dry it until it’s no longer not tacky.  And if applesauce sticks to a finger when you test it for dryness or it feels overly sticky, it’s not dry – give it some more time.

The only drawback in using parchment with these leathers was that the drying leather pulled the parchment paper as it dried, puckering the paper around the edges.  But it didn’t affect the leather itself nor the end result when I cut & rolled the leather into fruit roll ups.

After my leather was dry I brought the dehydrator back inside and left the trays loaded with leather inside overnight.  I wanted to make sure it was totally dry before rolling everything up.

Cutting The Leather Into Roll-Ups

The next morning I cut the fruit leather into strips and gave some to RancherMan to try.  He said it was delicious.  Then I just rolled the rest up – the parchment paper kept it from sticking to itself at all.  And when we ate them, the leathers pulled easily from the strips of parchment paper too.

In preserving all the fresh apples my aunt shared with us, I decided to make fruit leather roll ups. It was easy! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

I followed the same procedure to make cinnamon/apple flavored roll ups by adding a little cinnamon to the applesauce.  After it was dry I had RancherMan sample it and he liked the more flavorful cinnamon/apple roll ups even more.  So we have both types currently stored in a wide-mouth jar.    I wonder how long these babies will last?  We’ve hit ’em pretty hard already but the ones we haven’t eaten yet we’ve had for a month or so & they still taste delicious!

In preserving all the fresh apples my aunt shared with us, I decided to make fruit leather roll ups. It was easy! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Apple Leather Fruit Roll Ups

For my 9-Tray Excalibur:

Add 2 cups unsweetened applesauce to each tray

Spread applesauce thinly, leaving it slightly thicker on edges

Turn dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Check and rotate trays after about 2 hrs.  Leather is done when no tackiness remains. (about 6-8 hrs)

Allow trays to remain in dehydrator after it’s been turned off for about 10-12 hours to assure all moisture is removed.  Cut leather into strips & roll in strips of parchment to keep the leather from sticking.

Store in an airtight container.

Wonder what else I made with all those apples?

~TMH~

 

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6 thoughts on “Preserving Apples Deliciously: Fruit Leather Roll-ups

  1. Carrie @ Carrie's Home Cooking

    What a great snack! We just started the Whisk It Wednesday link party and I thought you might be interested in sharing there too! Thanks, Carrie

    Reply
  2. Mrs Shoes

    I don’t think I’ve given fruit leather a second thought since our children stopped asking for it years ago. All I did with our apple haul this year was cut them into quarters, core, & freeze them for baking, but I also didn’t have 10 bushels! I thought I had dibs on all the fruit of an old apple growing in the city, but then my nephew broke up with that girl and they’ve all fallen on the ground with wasps by now; so sad for such waste (even downed apples would have made our chickens, rabbits, pigs, and cattle happy). What’s that? No, not the horses – they get better than downed apples. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I hate food waste Mrs Shoes! And I hate that you lost that avenue for apples too. I’ve found that people who have fruit trees enjoy them for the first several years, then they far outproduce what the family can use (plus they get bored with the same fruit year after year) Most fruit-tree owners are thrilled to share their bounty, not only because gardeners are typically just generous like that but also becaues it’s less windfall for them to have to clean up. We planted miniature apple trees that will only grow to 10-ft tall for that very reason. (they’ve not yet begun producing in earnest, although one did put on about a dozen apples so I expect a small crop next year) I’ve also planted a pear tree, it’s a mini-dwarf so it will get taller than I like but not as tall as those mammoth trees with tons of fruit. I’ve been told I can crop the top of the pear to keep it a manageable size but I’m worried about doing that. One way or the other I’ll still be able to share the bounty but hopefully it won’t be overwhelming to try to give away all that fruit after we’ve had all we want. ~TMH~

      Reply
      1. Nancy

        Hey Tammy, When I made fruit leather for my kids (many years ago) I also would mix in berry juices. I have a great Champion juicer and it takes the seeds (blackberry and raspberry) right out. Mix that juice in with the applesauce and you have apple berry fruit leather. I also did strawberry but didn’t juice them. I may have to try again making fruit leather, for Kaleigh.

        Reply
        1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

          We rolled some of the fruit leathers and placed in large-mouth glass jars for snacking now, and froze the rest after we cut them in ribbons. My hope is that we can preserve them longer to use them in our homemade Christmas baskets this year. You know Kaleigh would love, love, LOVE ’em, Nancy. Let me know what she thinks. ~TMH~

          Reply

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