Fruit leather is a mostly dried snack of fruit purée, somewhat similar to the children's snack Fruit Roll-ups. Fruit leather has more fibre and more of the original nutrients from the fruit, however, and so is a healthier snack. Cherry fruit leather can be made from sweet or sour cherries, or a combination of both, having an intense cherry flavour and colour. Fruit leather does take a bit of time to make, but the results can be stored for months in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer.
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Things you need
- Food processor
- Food dehydrator
- Baking trays
- Non-stick spray
Wash the cherries and remove any that may have mould or rot on them. Pit the cherries using a knife or cherry pitter. Cut the cherries in half.
Put the cherries in the food processor or a food mill and process until the texture is like applesauce. If you have some very juicy cherries and the mixture turns out more soupy, drain it on some paper towels set into a colander until some of the moisture is removed.
Taste the mixture to determine if it is sweet enough. Add some honey or corn syrup to sweeten if needed. For a cherry pie type flavour, add a bit of cinnamon to the mixture. Always taste after every addition.
Pour the mixture onto the trays of the food dehydrator about 1/4 inch thick and place them in the machine. Follow the machine's directions to maintain a temperature of about 60 degrees C. Depending on your machine, drying can take four to six hours or more.
Use non-stick spray on baking trays and pour the mixture onto the pans if you are using an oven to make your cherry leather. Set the oven on its lowest setting and place the pans on the racks. Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon so that the moisture can get out. Every hour, rotate the pans. Allow the leather to dry for four to eight hours.
Check for your leather to be done by seeing if it is sort of tacky or sticky-feeling. If it feels like this but there is no wetness to it, your cherry leather is done. Place some cling film on top and roll it together like a Swiss roll. Cherry leather can be sliced before storing.
Tips and warnings
- Store cherry leather about two weeks at room temperature, up to three months in the refrigerator or frozen for up to a year.
- Check your cherry leather occasionally, especially if stored at room temperature, and discard any that may become mouldy.
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