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“Homemade Fruit Leather”

Fruit roll-ups were a big thing when I was growing up. There were so many iterations at one point that I was in pure fruit candy bliss. Then there were the healthy versions that we’d always find at the health food store. They were called “fruit leather,” because they were thicker and made out of pure fruit I suppose… not the other nasty bits that were probably in the fruit roll-ups.

My editor told me that they needed a few more recipes for my book Food Heroes a little while ago for “layout” reasons. And since I had so many strawberries left over from the pie and shortcake I made, I gave this home made fruit leather a whirl.

And I’m so glad I did.

I may or may not have eaten the entire tray.

I may have.

I did.

You start by dicing up the strawberries into small pieces.

Then in a pot they go, with a bit of water.

And a squirt of lemon juice.

Then you stew them. Mostly covered, until they are very very soft and mushy.

Next you place some plastic over a sheet tray and brush it with olive oil.

The stewed fruit should look like this, at which point you transfer it to a blender.


Taste it and if you think it could be a lot sweeter add some sugar. And blend some more.

But before you go and add a lot of sugar, keep in mind, that as the fruit leather dries, it will concentrate the natural sugars in the fruit and it will become sweeter on its own.

Pour the mixture on the plastic covered tray.

And with an offset spatula, spread it around evenly.

Like so.

Then it goes into the oven for what seems like years, but is really just many hours on a very low temperature. So low in fact, that you may need to keep the oven door partly opened.

Then you score it into the size that you like. These rectangular shapes are the fruit leather size.

It will peel right off.

And if you really want to make it look like a fruit roll-up…

Give it a little roll.

And voila!

Give ‘em a try sometime. They’re thrilling.

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“Homemade Fruit Leather”

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 15 rectangular fruit leathers

“Homemade Fruit Leather”

Recipe from Food Heroes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fruit pulp
  • 1 tablespoon lemon Juice
  • ¼ cup sugar (optional, depending on the sweetness of your fruit)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 -170 degrees F. If your oven doesn't go this low, simply set it to the lowest temperature and prop the door open.
  2. Puree the strawberry pulp and lemon juice in a food processor. If you choose another fruit you can chop it and stew it with the lemon juice until it softens before pureeing it. Stewing the fruit helps it retain its color. If it is a fruit with seeds, a food mill will remove the seeds more easily than a food processor and strainer. Add a small amount of water to the mixture if necessary so that it has a pourable consistency.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with plastic, parchment paper, or a silicon baking pad. The temperature of the oven is low enough not to affect the plastic. (Note: wax paper will not work for this recipe, it will stick.)
  4. Spray or brush with vegetable oil, then spread the fruit puree onto the sheet tray with an offset spatula or knife to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Place it in the oven for 6-8 hours. Make sure there is air circulating to prevent scorching. Alternatively place it in the sun for 6-8 hours.
  5. Invert the fruit leather onto another baking sheet covered in plastic or silicon baking pad, and oil, and remove the first lining. Place in the oven or sun for another 6-8 hours. If it becomes too brittle at any point, simply brush on water with a pastry brush to rehydrate it.
  6. Cool the sheet tray and cut the fruit leather into desired sizes. Dust with corn starch to prevent sticking, cover in plastic and store in a cool place in a sealed container.
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2010/07/23/recipes/homemade-fruit-leather/

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Comments

  1. Ooh! I love this. My youngest son likes the store bought ones but I hate not knowing what is really in them. As soon as berries come back in season I am going to try this. Maybe throw a couple pans in the oven so I don’t feel so bad about how long it needs to be on for.

  2. anyone tried subbing agave for the sugar?

    • I am not sure about agave but if you are concerned with the sugar high’s I would try Fructose crystalline. This is white almost powdered type sugar, it has a sweet taste without any other aftertaste influences like you would get with Agave. This sweetener is actually sweeter than Sugar so you can use about 25% less than you would when using sugar.

      I have tried this and it comes out fantastic every time.

      Good Luck and if you try it let me know what you think.

      Marc

    • I did a raw version with nothing but strawberries, a lilte lemon juice, a little water to help them blend and a teaspoon of honey. So tasty. No cooking :)

  3. Hi! So I am attempting this right now! It smells wonderful so far. I put in everything I could find in my fridge. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apple, green grapes, watermelon, cantelope, and banana. I also put in honey and a smidge of pancake syrup. i have a dehydrater I wanna use rather then my oven. Not sure if I should use plastic wrap or parchment paper on the racks? I hope this works cause it smells great! I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant and I think this is a great snack for me and as well as my 3 year old daughter! :D thank u for the inspiration!

  4. Hi Georgia,
    This is something I really want to try it sounds great and my kids love fruit rollups. My questions to you are:
    If I would to place the puree in the sun would it have to be indoors next to a window or outside? And would it have to be covered?

  5. Hi,

    In the visual instructions you mention olive oil, and in the written portion below the pictures it says vegetable oil. Which is best?

    Thank you for sharing your recipe

    Cheers, Sandy

  6. Christy says:

    Was wondering how much water you use to stew the fruit in?

  7. Joy Jones says:

    But what about the plastic? Is there another way to get it not to stick…….I’m not comfortable baking plastic.

  8. Christine says:

    I so want to do this! I have a lot of sun here in Az so I wont have to heat the darned house. Can I do this with bananas? I have 2 bunches that I was thinking I was going to have to make banana bread with. And can I substitute honey for sugar?

  9. I just made these over night and I have to say.. I’m hooked!
    Some info for those reading.. there’s NO info on water amount and no info on how much strawberries pre cooked. This is a problem. Author, I hope you can add this info, it would have helped a lot.

    So I went for 3 or so cups cut up strawberries and then used too much water and it cooked down a ton so I threw more strawberries in. It ended up working out ok but mine still came out quite thin. I recommend starting with only a couple spoons of water knowing you can add more if you need to and I would def recommend at least 4 cups of uncooked strawberries.. 5 is prob better.

    In the end, they still taste great and I’m very pleased and will be making them again. I am only curious how much money it cost to keep my oven on for 12 hours..

  10. Hallo, I’ve tried whith apples and a bit of red Fruit, it is very good. Does it work with every fruit?

  11. You could do either, but the texture will be a bit more rough with the skins on. Stewing them first will help though.

  12. Just do it until it is leathery… if 6-8 hours is enough in your oven conditions then that is wonderful! The idea is you want it to be like a fruit roll-up… not fruit puree.

  13. Hi Angela… I used plastic wrap coated in oil. Parchment is too absorbent. Wax paper might work, but not parchment. Try again!

  14. You’ll need to wait for a very sunny hot day!

  15. Georgia says:

    Yes, that’s fine… or, you can put it in the oven before you go to bed and then flip it when you wake up… another good option.

  16. sarahgw says:

    I found this site to be help with trying different combos:

    http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/fruit_leather_info.aspx

    the melon cucumber sounded very YUMMY!! However, they don’t recommend melon… I wonder if adding pectin would make it work?

  17. I made some today. I added blackberries and raspberries. Also, I added banana baby food I had in the cabinet. I used parchment paper. Turned out great!

  18. I cannot wait to try this, it will be perfect for gifting!
    Question, do you think you could use frozen fruit?

  19. Yes, just rinse before you boil.