This has been the year of the fruit leather, and my favorite so far is this plum and crabapple fruit leather… it’s sweet and tart, with a gorgeous color, plus it is very pliable and tender (a great quality for fruit leather, as some can end up as tough as… well, leather). I’m on my third batch already and it seems I haven’t even made a dent in the apples!
Fruit leather is very simple to make and very forgiving. I love using honey to sweeten it because I think it gives a softer texture than using a granulated sugar. You can also change up the ratio of apples to plums in this recipe- no worries, it will still turn out great. And feel free to use any type of plum or apple you have around, from wild foraged plums and crabapples to store bought varieties. This was a phenomenal use for our bright red crabapples that I never know what to do with!
Plum & Crabapple Fruit Leather Recipe
6 cups chopped plums, skin on
4 cups chopped crab apples, skin on
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
honey to taste (1/4 to 3/4 cup)
In a large stock pot, combine the chopped plums, crabapples, pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has broken down into mush, about 20-30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow the fruit to cool in the pan for 30-60 minutes- it will be warm but shouldn’t be boiling hot. Transfer to a blender and blend on high speed until the fruit is pureed and uniform in consistency.
Pour the puree into a bowl or back into the pot and taste a spoonful of it! My plums and crabapples were very tart, so I needed to add almost a full cup of honey. Start by whisking in a 1/4 cup of honey and then tasting. Add additional 1/4 cups of honey at a time, tasting in between each addition, until it is pleasant tasting. If it tastes good now, it will taste good as fruit leather. If your honey is crystalized, you might need to turn the pan on low heat to dissolve it.
Prepare your dehydrator for fruit leather. I use an Excalibur with non-stick paralfexx sheets (these generic ones work fine), which I’ve had for at least 6 years now and absolutely love. You can dehydrate fruit leather in the oven, but I never have so I can’t give you instructions for that.
You can spread the puree as thin or thick as you like, but I have found that the thicker it is, the more tender it stays. Spreading it too thin results in a tougher, more leather-like finished product. This recipe made four really thick approximately 12X12-inch sheets of fruit leather.
Dehydrate for 18-24 hours, or until there are no soft/wet spots. I use a very low heat-raw setting because of the honey, in order to keep the great properties of our honey alive. Sometimes, especially when I use honey, and especially when I spread the puree thick, there is a gooey-jelly-like residue left on the top of the leather- this is not the same as it being unfinished/wet. And sometimes if there is a lot of gooey residue I will scrape some off with a spatula.
Once finished, peel the plum and crabapple fruit leather from the sheet and place it onto a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to cut the leather into strips. I typically cut my 12″ fruit leather into 5 strips, then I roll up each strip and use a knife to cut it in half to make smaller bite-sized rolls (this cuts down on the amount of rolling them up I have to do!).
Store in an air-tight container- I prefer wide mouth mason jars, or these gorgeous Weck tulip jars… so I can fit my hand all the way into the bottom of the jar.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click through them and end up purchasing an item (any item, not necessarily the one I recommended even!) I may receive monetary or other compensation. The price you pay is unaffected by using this link, and buying stuff you were going to get anyways through an affiliate link is a great way to support your favorite blogger and fellow homesteader! Thanks!