by Texas Homesteader ~
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
- Canned Apple Pie Filling
- Cinnamon/Vanilla Applesauce
- Canned Apple Cider
- Dehydrated Cinnamon/Sugar Apple Slices
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea. There are lots of good folks sharing!
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