Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Make Homemade Fruit Leather

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Our 24 pounds of strawberries are nearly gone, but I wanted to share how we've made our own fruit leather.

I've actually made fruit leather, or homemade fruit rolls several times but didn't care for the results. The fruit either took waaay too long to dry out, or the consistency was wrong, etc. I've been scouring the internet for a new recipe, {there are thousands!} reading comments from those that made it, and have decided to create my own recipe. I'm happy to say that it turned out beautifully! We like it so much in fact, I've made multiple batches over the past week and the kids just devour it.

I give amounts for making two large jelly-roll pans worth. In my opinion, if you're going to run the oven for several hours, you might as well make the most of it and make a large batch.


Homemade Fruit Leather

3 lbs fresh fruit, washed and hulled/pitted, etc. {I used strawberries}
1 cup of 100% fruit juice {use 1/3 cup per pound of fruit}
1-2 TSBP sugar, if desired

Wash fruit and remove the hull/ pit, etc. Slice in half and place in a pot on the stove. Add fruit juice and cook fruit until it's soft. Add sugar if you'd like. I've made it with and without- we loved it both ways, so I opt to leave it out. However if your fruit is tart, it might be good to add a tablespoon or two.

The next step is to blend/ puree the fruit until it's super smooth. You can do this in a variety of ways, depending on what kitchen gadgets you have. I love my immersion blender and it works great for this- just stick it in the berries and blend. It took about 10 seconds to make a smooth puree. I blended it for about a minute just to make sure I got all the chunks. You can also transfer the fruit to a blender and puree it that way. 

Pour the puree onto 2 jelly roll pans lined with parchment paper. You might want to trim the paper down a bit so that the side doesn't fall down into the puree. Mine did once and that fruit never dried out.

Set the oven to 170 degrees and prop the door open using a wooden spoon. As I said before, I've tried many recipes for fruit leather and I think this is the step that made the most difference! As the fruit is drying, the moisture needs somewhere to escape. Just be sure to keep any toddlers out of the kitchen or block it off with a baby gate.

Dry the fruit in the oven for 6-7 hours. Check it at 6 hours and see if you can peel it from the parchment paper. The fruit will still be slightly sticky. You don't want to make it crispy by cooking it too long! If it all peels up- it's done! If you still have portions that aren't cooked, put it back in the oven for another hour.

Once it's all done, before removing it from the parchment paper, cut it into strips. Then peel the paper off. There's no need to take time to roll with plastic wrap or wax paper or anything- just stick all the strips in a ziplock bag. Stick it in kid's lunches, serve as a snack, etc.

Enjoy!

4 comments:

Ashley said...

I tried to pin this using your pin button, but it didn't work, so I had to pin it using my button from my toolbar. So excited to try it though. I keep looking at all those recipes wondering which one to try.

Camille said...

I'm guessing there's a difference between parchment paper and wax paper - learned the hard way!! The wax paper did not come off!

We own a dehydrator and have had the best success just putting cleaned fruit in a blender with a little honey and making a puree. Then pouring the puree on fruit leather trays and drying for about a day. We can't keep the leather long enough to even put in a bag! It gets eaten right off the trays!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this I have always wanted to do this and never knew how to do it so it was pliable.

The Fullmers said...

Thank you so much, I am eager to try this great recipe. I am wondering if I could use my sil-pat mats in place of the parchment?

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