Since commercial fruit leather is so popular with children, wouldn't you like to make it for about 1/3rd of the price? Well, here is how you do it:
Take a can of your favorite applesauce, or use your own canned applesauce. Choose a favorite flavor of gelatin. Mix them together in a bowl.
Spray your tray insert (or saran wrap if you wish to do this in your oven at a temperature of below 200 degrees) with vegetable spray. This will help the leather come off easier after it is finished.
Next, spread your mixture evenly on the tray.
Place the tray into your dehydrator & set the thermostat for 135 degrees, turn it on, and walk away. If you choose to do this in your oven, the setting must be 200 degrees or lower. Prop the door open a few inches (or place piece of wood etc to keep it open) and direct the airflow from a fan placed strategically to blow into the oven. If you have a convection oven with a fan, you can prop the door open and may not need an additional fan.
Periodically, take the tray out of the dehydrator (or oven) and let it cool a bit. If you can pull the leather away in one sheet without leaving residual material....it is done! If not, put it back in and let it dehydrate a little longer.
To store the Fruit Leather I make by using my trays, I cut the sheet of Leather into 4 pieces, and roll in saran wrap. I then put them into a canning jar and vacuum-pack them to keep them fresh. However, I am finding that I do not need the last step (vacuum-packing) as they usually do not last that long!
Try this...today. It is so simple and delicious! You can make so many different flavors and the colors are wonderful and inviting to children. The only caution I would make in regard to color is using Blueberry Jello. If you think about it, the Applesauce is Yellow and the Jello was blue......together they make a lovely shade of green! However, it still is delicious and my son did not care!
Above, I referred to the cost of making this leather at home. At Albertson's, the brand-name Fruit Leather costs ~$.45 an ounce. This home produced leather costs $.15 an ounce. If you use a dehydrator, the cost of the power to run it is similar to a light bulb. Using your oven will require more energy, but is still doable.