I have a secret dietitian confession to make: I really like fruit snacks. Specifically ones shaped like Disney princesses. The bite sized dessert with artificially simulated fruit like flavor woos me. To sandwich the other side of that confession, I also know fruit snacks are filled with artificial food coloration derived from the same thing we use to make asphalt... with enough sugar to give a hummingbird a sugar high. Quel dommage. But fear not for we have a solution: pear leather. It's sweet without added sugar and it has a ton of fiber to keep you full. It's a great, sweet treat for you to keep in a bag.
Fruit leather is to fruit what beef jerky is to meat. Using a fruit purée base and dehydration through a super low oven temperature (and lots of patience as it spends hours occupying your oven), a fruit roll up replacement that's dietitian approved is created. While I've made a fig blackberry roll up before, we've recently been inundated with raccoon sized pears and we need to use them pronto.
Pear Fruit Leather
Directions: Using the same technique as when I made pink apple sauce, slice pears in medium sized sections and place in a large pot, without adding water. Cover the pot and let pears soften for about 25 minutes until the fruit can be smashed with a spoon. Place the softened pears in a food mill and process to create a sauce.
Turn your oven to the lowest temperature possible, which is probably close to 140-160 F. Line a pan with parchment paper. In the past I've used plastic wrap, but it can sometimes stick to the leather. Spread your pear sauce very thinly and place in the oven to dehydrate, not cook, for several hours.
The fruit leather will be done when the puree is dry and darker in color. It will easily peel away from the parchment. Cut into strips and store in an airtight container.
When I Instagrammed the pear leather, made without sugar, someone commented that such a task is impossible. To which I responded: dietitian magic.
Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.