Over the years I've tried many different recipes: canned pears, spiced honey pears, pear sauce, pear butter, pear pie filling, pear chips, etc. I make pear butter and pear pie filling every year. They are staples in our house now.
This year I wanted to try something new... so we tried fruit leather. I read a few different recipes and techniques and then made my own. We made Peachy Pear Leather and "Banana Bread" Leather (aka Banana Pear Leather, but it really tastes like banana bread!). YUM YUM! My kids took them to school the next day and the first thing they said when I picked them up from school is that the fruit leather was "SOOO GOOD!!" My kids always ask for fruit snacks and fruit rollups but I don't like all the ingredients typically found in them so I love that I can make these that are fresh and I can control the ingredients.
2 large pears
1 large peach or 2 medium bananas
dash of lemon juice
dash of cinnamon
*optional sweetener of choice
Prep time: Approx 1 hour
Baking time: Approx 8 hours
1. First you put your ingredients in a blend and puree. Taste to see if you want to add sweetener. I added a little sweetener to the peach leather but didn't need any for the banana leather. You can try other spices too if you like. The lemon juice enhances the flavor but don't go too crazy.
2. Next, put it in a pot and simmer over meadium low heat for a long time. Like, a really long time. Maybe an hour or more. Stirring occasionally at first and more frequently as it thickens. You want to reduce this puree a lot but still have it spreadable. This will decrease the baking time and have a nice presentation. Once I could make "soft peaks" I removed it from heat
|Peachy Pear Leather|
|"Banana Bread" Leather|
3. While the mixture is cooking you can prepare your pans. Get GOOD plastic wrap that says it is microwave safe, not the cheap kind. The cheap kind I'm told can melt and I doubt you want to eat it. So get the good kind. Put the plastic wrap on a cookie sheet with sides. Have the plastic just cover the sides. It will shrink a little while baking but you don't want it hanging way over the sides and touching your oven racks either. I found when I really made it fit the pan that was best.
4. Also while the mixture is cooking, preheat the oven to your lowest setting. Mine is 170 degrees F.
4. Pour the puree onto the plastic and spread until it is even and almost touches the sides of the pan.
5. Bake for approximately 8 hours. Yes EIGHT hours. So this is an all day thing or an overnight thing. It takes a LONG time, so time it right for you schedule. Make sure you can keep an eye on it the first time you make it so you know what your oven conditions are like. You know its done when the it is no longer sticky on top. If the plastic has folded over the leather at all, that part will not dry out. Just cut that part off.
6. Remove from the oven, lift up the plastic wrap, and flip it over onto wax paper. Let it cool a little, then remove the plastic wrap.
7. Roll the whole thing up jelly roll style and cut into 1 inch pieces.
8. Store in an air-tight container (I used a mason jar) or in the fridge if you won't use it within a week or so. I know mine won't last that long! Enjoy!