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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/