Recipes

5 best peach fruit leather recipes!

5 best peach fruit leather recipes! thumbnail
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Trying to figure out how to use lots of peaches? Or how to make the perfect peach leather? 

You’re in the right place! Two good alternative titles for this article could be “how to use up lots of peaches” or “how to make the perfect peach leather.” 

Since we currently have far more peaches coming out of our garden than we can possibly eat fresh plus plenty of sliced peaches in the freezer from previous years, we need recipes to use up the current abundance. 

We rarely ever eat canned peaches or peach preserves, so those recipes won’t cut it. Plus we need toddler snacks and hiking/trail food… Peach leather to the rescue! 

Macabre? Yes, but our peaches demanded a front row seat to our peach leather taste tests.

 Our peaches demanded a front row seat to our peach leather taste tests. Macabre? Maybe.

Testing to make the best peach leather

Another benefit of having a lot of peaches is that we’re able to use trial and error to determine how to make the perfect peach leather, which isn’t as easy as it may seem.

“Perfect” is in the eye of the beholder, but after a lot of testing and tweaking, we think we’ve gotten close with some of the peach fruit leather recipes in this article.

Peach fruit leather questions we wanted to answer: 

  1. Does it make a difference whether or not you use the peach skins? 
  2. Do you have to sweeten peach leather? If so, which sweetener is best? 
  3. How do you get the best texture and consistency?  
  4. What other fresh seasonal fruits are ideal to add as accents to peach fruit leather? 
  5. Can we create a hands-down favorite peach leather recipe? 

We’ll answer each of the above questions in this article and share our top-5, easy-to-make peach leather recipes. Do note that some of the answers we provide are subjective. After all, everyone has different flavor preferences.

Heck, some people don’t even like the flavor of peaches (the horror)! So the results below are biased in our favor (and flavor), since we’re the guinea pigs. 

Organically grown blueberries and peaches from our backyard. (The white residue on the peaches is kaolin clay.) Having an abundance of produce means our family and neighbors eat well too, plus we get to come up with lots of new recipes.

Organically grown peaches and blueberries (with DIY wearable berry picking basket) from our backyard. The white residue on the peaches is kaolin clay. Having an abundance of produce means our family and neighbors eat well too, plus we get to come up with lots of new recipes.

Peach leather universals

Here are some universal rules to keep in mind no matter which of our peach leather recipes you use: 

  1. Use perfectly ripe, flavorful peaches. (Taste a piece of peach while cutting if in doubt.)
  2. Thoroughly wash each peach before using to remove irritating peach fuzz, dirt, etc.  
  3. Use an acid as a flavor and color preservative, such as ascorbic or citric acid. (We use organic lemon juice, rather than powdered citric acid.)
  4. When drying, spread your liquid fruit leather onto quality parchment paper. (We use and like If You Care brand.) This makes it easy to: a) cut the leather for storage, and b) peel it off when it’s time to eat. Backup: use a non-stick Silpat mat or aluminum foil when drying, then transfer leather to parchment paper for storage. We don’t recommend using plastic wrap due to potential leaching into your food.
Rolls of finished peach fruit leather rolled, tied, and cut inside the parchment paper they were dried in.

Finished peach fruit leather rolled, tied, and cut inside the parchment paper they were dried in. These are now ready to be stored in airtight ziplocks or jars for future use.

Test 1: Making peach leather with skins vs no skins

Key takeaways: 

When making peach leather, only remove peach skins if you’re using conventionally grown peaches; you don’t need to remove skins if you’re using organic peaches. Either way, use good equipment to thoroughly pulverize the peach pulp and skins.  

Peach leather test without skins (top) and with skins (bottom). In our opinion, if properly pulverized, skins do not negatively affect the texture.

Peach leather test without skins (top) and with skins (bottom). In our opinion, if thoroughly pulverized, peach skins do not negatively affect the texture or flavor of the finished leather.

Why?

You might think you have to remove the skins from your peaches before making them into fruit leather, but do you?

If you’re using conventionally grown peaches, we’d recommend removing the skins since there are likely to be synthetic pesticide residues on them. Unfortunately, systemic pesticides can’t be washed off, but at least you can remove some of the surface-level pesticides. 

(Related read: How to grow organic peaches in the Southeast United States – interview with Clemson University scientists

We hated the idea of having to skin and compost all our peach skins from our organically grown peaches when making peach leather. Thankfully, we didn't have to.

We hated the idea of having to remove and compost the peach skins from our organically grown peaches when making peach leather. Thankfully, we didn’t have to.

Peach skins are high in fiber and nutrition. Plus, removing the skins takes time and inevitably removes at least some of the flesh. So we were hoping leaving the skins on our organically grown peaches wouldn’t negatively impact the texture or flavor of the resulting fruit leather. 

Taste test results? In our opinion, leaving the skins on made no *discernible difference in two otherwise identical batches of fruit leather. 

*Caveat: Larger chunks of peach skins might well negatively impact the final leather texture. For this result to hold true, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a good food processor or blender to turn those peach skins into the tiniest pieces possible. Even with good equipment, you’ll want to blend/pulverize your peaches for at least 2-3 minutes, scrape the sides with a spatula, then blend/pulverize again for another 2-3 minutes. 

Test 2: Sweetener or no sweetener? Which sweetener is best — and how much should you use?

Key takeaways:

Adding additional sweetener makes for a tastier peach leather. Maple syrup is an ideal sweetener, at a ratio of 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of peach puree (this is a minimum – you may like it sweeter).  

Why? 

Next, we wanted to know whether perfectly ripe peaches are sweet enough on their own to make into peach leather without supplemental sweetener.

Good peach leather also includes an acid (typically ascorbic or citric acid) to help keep it from going bad while also preserving its color and flavor. The acid adds a bit of additional sour to the leather. 

To start with, we made two identical batches of peach leather, but one was unsweetened while the other was sweetened with honey.

Results? The unsweetened peach leather was certainly edible, but the honey batch won the taste test. 

Quick aside: in case you ever wondered, it takes about three peaches to make 1 cup of peach puree.

Quick aside: in case you ever wondered, it takes about three peaches to make 1 cup of peach puree.

Which sweetener is best for peach leather? 

There are countless types of sweetener out there. If you want a calorie-free option when making peach leather, go with something like stevia. Standard cane sugar is common and simple, so that’s another option as long as you give it time to fully dissolve and mix into your peach puree before dehydrating it. 

We have local honey (from our backyard) and maple syrup, so we wanted to see how those two liquid sweeteners would compare, especially since they’re both so complimentary to the unique taste of peaches.

Our favorite peach leather sweetener? Maple syrup.

Note: Use real maple syrup, not imitation! In addition to sweetness, maple syrup added richer more nuanced flavor notes that paired better with the peach flavor than honey.   

How much sweetener should you add to peach leather? 

The answer to this question comes down to your taste preferences plus what type of sweetener you’re using. For example, stevia is 300x sweeter than sugar, so you certainly wouldn’t substitute it 1:1 for cane sugar based on volume. 

For our tastes, we found that both honey and maple syrup were ideal at about 1 tsp per cup of peach puree. That was just enough to boost flavor and add a hint of sweetness without us feeling like we were eating dessert.

Be advised that we’re not big sweets eaters, so you might find that you want more sweet in your peach leather than we use.  

Test 3: How do you get the best peach leather consistency? 

Key takeaways:

It’s very easy to over-dry your peach leather by drying it too hot or for too long. You’ll know it’s done when it’s no longer sticky to the touch. Using an Excalibur dehydrator in our humid climate, we found the ideal dry time was about 14 hours at 115°F (46°C).

Why?

The ideal peach leather is pliable and slightly chewy, not brittle and crunchy on one extreme or too soft and jammy on the other extreme. After all, you’re aiming for peach leather, not peach bark or peach jam. If you leave too much moisture in, it will cause your fruit leather to go bad quickly.     

Getting the consistency of your peach leather just right is probably the hardest part of the process (at least it was for us).

Complicating factors:

  • Making peach leather in an oven is different than making peach leather in a dehydrator.
  • Every brand/type of oven is different and every brand/type of dehydrator is different.  
  • How thickly or thinly you spread out your still-wet peach leather affects optimal drying times.
  • Climate affects drying time (example: drying in hot humid Southeast will take longer than Las Vegas).

Inevitably, these factors mean: a) it’s impossible to give exact instructions for every scenario, and b) you might not get this part of the process just right on your first attempt. But take notes as you go and keep trying until you get things dialed in for your specific setup/equipment. 

Starting thickness of peach leather

Go thick! When making our first batches of peach leather, we spread it too thinly, which resulted in a subpar finished texture. 

The best way to tell you how thick to spread your peach leather is to show you a picture (see below):

Peach leather puree spread to the ideal thickness, with a silicone spatula provided for reference.

Peach leather puree spread to the ideal thickness, with a silicone spatula provided for reference.

Once thoroughly pureed, pour your liquid peach leather onto a parchment paper-covered drying rack (if using a dehydrator) or cookie sheet (if using an oven). Then evenly spread the puree across the parchment surface into a square or rectangular shape. (This shape is ideal when cutting the leather into strips.)   

Ideal temperature and dry time

We use a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator. Unfortunately, if you’re using a different type of dehydrator or an oven, our findings won’t perfectly translate…

First try: we had our temperature too high (150°F / 65°C) and let our peach leather dry for too long (16 hours). (We had it in overnight then forgot about it when we went for a hike the next morning.) 

Failure! Our early peach leather attempts tasted ok, but they were too thin and didn't have an ideal texture.

Failure! Our early peach leather attempts tasted ok, but they were too thin and didn’t have an ideal texture. (We’ll tell you how to fix dry fruit leather below!)

This resulted in tough, somewhat crunchy fruit leather that had more of a cooked than fresh fruit flavor. (*If you’re using an oven, 150°F might be the lowest possible setting, in which case you’ll only be able to adjust time downward, not temperature.)  

We eventually settled on an ideal peach leather temperature of 115°F (46°C) and a dry time of about 14 hours. A good rule of thumb no matter what device you use: you’ll know your peach leather is done when it’s no longer sticky to the touch. 

Peach fruit leather: just the right texture this time!

Success! The peach fruit leather texture is just right this time!

How to “fix” your fruit leather if it’s too dry or too wet

No, your fruit leather is NOT ruined if it’s too dry or too wet.

Too wet? Dry it longer.

Too dry? Leave it out for a few hours and let it absorb moisture from the air. (Dry climates: you might need to put it near some steaming water.) 

Test 4: What other fresh seasonal fruits are ideal added to peach fruit leather? 

Key takeaways:

Numerous other fresh seasonal fruits (berries, melons, etc) can be added to peach leather to make unique flavor combinations. If you want the resulting leather to be more peach-forward, use about 1 part peach to 1/2 part other fruit. 

Why?

As you probably know, peaches pair well with a wide variety of other fruits. However, peaches are mild-flavored, thus they can be overpowered if strongly-flavored fruits or too much other fruit is added. 

We tried three garden-ripe fruits in our peach leather:

  • ground cherries (a delicious nightshade fruit that tastes like a cross between pineapples and sweet tomatoes);
  • watermelon
  • blueberries 

*Side note: These three fruits all have small seeds (or seeds that can be easily removed), so they can be added with minimal effort. For larger-seeded berries like blackberries, you might prefer to cook and strain the seeds before making into leather.

The ratios for each different batch were generally about 1/2 part other fruit to 1 part peach (see exact ratios in recipes below). All three produced delicious fruit leathers, but if we had to rank them from most to least favorite, it would be:    

  1. Peach-ground cherry fruit leather
  2. Peach-watermelon fruit leather
  3. Peach-blueberry fruit leather

So if you have lots of other fresh summer fruit piling up in addition to your peaches, consider combining the two ingredients into one delicious fruit leather recipe!  

5. Is there a “best” peach leather recipe? 

Key takeaways: 

It’s hard to make a peach fruit leather that tastes bad, and there are infinite ways to make peach fruit leather that tastes good. We’ll share our five favorite peach fruit leather recipes to help get you started!

Yes, we made and taste-tested lots of different versions of peach fruit leather in the process of creating this article and recipes! In other words, this was probably our toddler's favorite article ever. (For the record, he said they're all the best.)

Yes, we made and taste-tested lots of different versions of peach fruit leather in the process of creating this article and recipes! In other words, this was probably our toddler’s favorite article ever. (For the record, he said they’re all the best.)

Why? 

If you asked 10 different people what the single best flavor in an ice cream shop is, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. All answers are true, subjectively speaking. 

Likewise, if you like peaches, none of the fruit leather recipes below will disappoint you, but you may be more keen on the particular flavors of one recipe versus another. Some are also simpler to make or have less ingredients than others. 

Our personal favorites? “Peach pie” fruit leather and peach-ground cherry fruit leather. If you disagree, that means you’re objectively wrong! (Just kidding.) 

5 peach leather recipes

Without further ado, here are five peach leather recipes for you to consider depending on what ingredients you have available and what your flavor preferences are. (We also added our personal favorite in the recipe card at the bottom.)  

Ready to unroll your favorite peach fruit leather recipe?

Ready to unroll your favorite peach fruit leather recipe?

Use the instructions detailed in the article (above) or the recipe card (bottom of article) to make any of these recipes:

*1 cup peach puree is about 3 whole peaches.

1. Simple peach-honey (or maple syrup) fruit leather

  • 1 cup peach puree
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup (more if you have a sweet tooth)

2. Peach-blueberry fruit leather

  • 1 cup peach puree
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (measured whole before blending)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup (more if you have a sweet tooth)

3. Peach-ground cherry fruit leather

  • 1 cup peach puree
  • 1/2 cup ground cherries (measured whole before blending)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (more if you have a sweet tooth)

4. “Peach pie” fruit leather (tastes like peach pie!) 

  • 1 cup peach puree
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

5. Peach-watermelon fruit leather

  • 1 cup peach puree
  • 1/2 cup watermelon puree
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp honey or maple syrup (more if you have a sweet tooth)

Last thing: Rolling, cutting, and storing your peach leather

Once made, you can roll your peach leather up inside the parchment paper you dried it on, tie it into sections with twine or tape, then cut it into individual serving sizes using a well-sharpened kitchen knife, as shown below:

Rolling, tying, and cutting peach fruit leather for storage.

Rolling, tying, and cutting peach fruit leather for storage.

Or you can leave your peach leather in a large roll (taped or tied close) and only cut off pieces as-needed.  

Store your peach fruit leather in an airtight jar or ziplock bag. It should keep for at least a couple months in your pantry or longer in your fridge.

If you live in a humid climate like we do, you might also want to put some dried rice in the container to help reduce moisture. 

Peach fruit leather recipe - "peach pie" flavor
Print

"Peach pie" fruit leather (tastes like peach pie!)

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dehydrated peaches, peach fruit leather, peach leather
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Dehydration time: 14 hours
Servings: 5
Author: Aaron von Frank

"Peach pie" fruit leather is simple to make and tastes like actual peach pie! A great way to use up lots of fresh peaches and enjoy them for months to come. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peach puree from fresh, perfectly ripe peaches
  • 1 tsp organic lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Puree peaches to the finest texture possible. Add other ingredients and puree/blend again to incoporate.

  2. Pour liquid puree onto parchment paper on a shelf in your dehydrator. If using an oven, put parchment paper on cookie sheet. Using a spatula, spread the puree thickly (see photo in article) into a square or rectangular shape

  3. See notes in article about variance in drying times and temperatures based on the equipment used and the humidity in your environment.

    If using an Excalibur dehydrator: ideal peach leather temperature is 115°F (46°C) and dry time is about 14 hours.

    If using an oven, turn to lowest temperature setting possible.

    Peach fruit leather is done when the center surface is no longer sticky/tacky to the touch.

  4. Let leather cool and sit for 30-60 minutes. Then roll it inside the parchment paper. Secure roll with tape or twine OR cut it into smaller serving sized pieces prior to storage. Store in airtight ziplock or jar in cupboard for 2+ months.

We hope this article helps you make your own delicious peach fruit leather! 

KIGI,
Tyrantfarms

Other fruity recipes you’ll want to sink your teeth into: 

And more recipes from Tyrant Farms!

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