by Jennifer Cole
Wondering what to do with older preserves from the previous year you’ve found at the back of the pantry? With a dehydrator, some applesauce and jam or jelly, you can easily make your own delicious fruit leathers! Most of us have had the dilemma of opening up the pantry and seeing a swell of jams, jellies, or preserves that have been shoved to the back of the shelf and forgotten about, whether they are homemade, or gifts from a crafty preserving friend. Fruit leathers are an easy and delicious way to use your preserves and clear out some shelf space before the new canning season arrives!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR LEFTOVER JAM FRUIT LEATHER:
- A pint of applesauce (sweetened to your liking; depending on the sweetness of your jam, you might consider unsweetened applesauce)
- A half pint of jam/jelly/fruit preserves of choice
- A dehydrator with temperature control (I use the Excalibur Food Dehydrator)
- ParaFlexx sheets or parchment paper
- Spatula, ladle, whisk, and large bowl
**This will yield roughly two large ParaFlexx sheets worth of fruit leather. You can double or triple this recipe to make more at one time, especially if you have the Excalibur 9-tray Food Dehydrator at your disposal.
STEP ONE: Applesauce. I used applesauce from a previous year of apple bounty. Since I seldom eat it straight, this seemed like a good way to use it up. You can of course use store bought applesauce as well. For this recipe, I used a full pint’s worth of applesauce.
STEP TWO: Jelly or jam! I used a 1/2 pint of grape jelly in this instance, but be warned: if your applesauce is sweetened and you’re like me and use a lot of sugar in your jelly, the result will be a very sweet, candy-like fruit leather. Kids and adults with a sweet tooth will definitely like this combo. Previously, I used up some old rhubarb jam, and the balance of tart and sweet was perfection.