Cultured Fruit Leather

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds of fruit (apples, bananas, pears, berries, mango, kiwi, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • Spices to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)
  • Sweetener to taste (raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, sugar, etc.)
  • One of the following:

Equipment
  • Jar with lid for culturing the fruit mixture (canning jars work well); fermenting jars with airlock set-ups also work well
  • One of the following:
    • Food dehydrator
    • Oven capable of being set to a low temperature
    • A hot sunny day
    • Or similar method which allows the fruit leather to dry within 8 to 24 hours

Step One: Culture the Fruit Mixture
  1. Prepare the fruit (core apples, remove unwanted seeds from other fruits, etc.) and cut up the fruit into manageable pieces.
  2. Process the fruit in a blender, food processor or food mill until the mixture is relatively smooth. 
  3. Mix in the salt, spices, and sweetener. If using whey add it at this time. If using a starter culture, prepare the culture according the instructions that came with the culture prior to mixing it into the fruit.
  4. Place the mixture in a canning jar (leaving 1 to 2 inches of headroom) and place a lid on the jar. Allow the jar to sit in a warm spot (70° to 80°F) for 2 to 10 days. (2 to 3 days is generally sufficient if using whey; starter culture instructions often recommend 7 to 10 days.)
  5. When the culturing process has completed, use caution when removing the jar lid as pressure may have built up.   


Step Two: Dry the Fruit Leather

  1. Spread the fruit mixture on sheets of unbleached parchment paper or a silicon sheet that fits inside your food dehydrator, or on a baking sheet if using your oven. Tip: If the mixture is very watery, try straining the mixture through a tea towel or tight-weave cheesecloth to thicken it up a bit. The strained juice is delicious to drink and contains beneficial bacteria from the culturing process.
  2. Allow the fruit leather to dry overnight or for 8 to 24 hours. The exact length of time will depend on the temperature used and the thickness of the mixture. We recommend setting your oven or food dehydrator to 110°F or less to preserve the beneficial bacteria.  
  3. The fruit leather is done when it is smooth and no longer sticky.


Store the finished fruit leather in an airtight container.



 

 

                                                
   
Fruit for Making Homemade Cultured Fruit Leather


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