Mentioned on One Happy Table!
As a little kid, I loved unraveling a fruit roll-up and gobbling it down. Of course, they were bad for me, but what kid cares about that? It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten one, but I think I’ll go in a different direction this time and create my own. And instead of snacking on the piles of sugar sure to stick in my teeth from the store bought fruit roll-ups and fruit leathers, I created a much healthier and tastier treat.
It’s very easy to make, although a bit time consuming. However, as long as you have fruit in your home, there’s no need to go out and spend any money for the ingredients.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Fruit (cherries, mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, etc.)
Potato Masher (optional)
Cooking Spray or Oil
Wax Paper or Parchment Paper
1. I chose to use mangoes for this recipe, but you can substitute almost any fruit for this. In fact, you could experiment with several fruits in one batch to create a mixed flavor. I think you can also use bananas for this recipe, but I’m not sure how that would turn out considering that bananas brown. Since I wanted a smaller batch, I only used one medium sized mango. If they were smaller, I would have used two or three. The amount of fruit you use depends on how much of this you want to make.
Cut up your fruit and put it in a saucepan on medium heat. Add a little water to the pan, but don’t cover your fruit. Some recipes say to use a certain amount of water, but I just eyeballed it. I didn’t want my fruit leather to be watered down, I wanted it to taste like the actual fruit.
I also added in: one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of sugar. My mango was already sweet, but I added in a spoon of sugar just for good measure anyway. Let your fruit cook down a bit for about 10-15 mintues until soft enough and then take off of the heat. You can mash your fruit a little bit with your potato masher if you like after this, but you’ll be putting it in a blender, so it won’t really matter.
*You can also make your fruit leather without cooking the fruit down first. Puree raw fruit in blender and continue with the rest of these directions.*
2. Let your fruit cool down first, then add to a blender and puree until smooth. You don’t want any lumps in your mixture. I made my mixture ahead of time and then put it the fridge overnight so I could make the fruit leather the following morning. You can start making them right away after blending them or put it in the fridge for when you’re ready.
3. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Spray it with some cooking spray or rub a bit of cooking oil on it to make sure your fruit doesn’t stick to the paper while cooking. Spread your fruit mixture evenly on the paper.
4. Place cookie sheet in the oven, middle rack, on the lowest temperature. Depending on your oven it could be anywhere from 140 degrees to 200 degrees. My lowest setting was 200 degrees and so I put it on that. Leave your oven door cracked open a bit while cooking. The cooking process depends on the fruit, the amount of fruit and the cooking temperature, so it could take a few hours to an entire day to fully cook the fruit. You might want to rotate the pan a few times during cooking, to make sure it cooks evenly.
5. To find out if your fruit leather is ready to take out of the oven, use the back of a fork or spoon and press on the fruit mixture. It should be firm and slightly sticky, but not too sticky that your fork sticks to it or pulls part of it up. If it’s hard like a rock, brush some water on it a few times and put it back in the oven. This will help to “revive” it. If it’s too mushy, almost like it was when you put it in the oven, then it’s not ready at all and needs more time to cook.
If you leave it in there too long past it’s finished point, it won’t have the texture you’re looking for in fruit leather. Instead, it will be more like fruit chips.
*Tip: Areas of the fruit mixture that are thinner when spread out on the cookie sheet, will get harder quicker. Most likely, these areas will turn into the “chips” I’m referring to, which happened to mine. So when making your mixture, make sure it is thick enough when spread out, to prevent it from getting too hard.
6. Once it is done, take the fruit leather out, cool it, and cut with a knife or pizza cutter into strips. If your mixture is sticking to the paper, try to loosen it a bit. You might have to pull it off the paper completely and transfer it to a cutting board in order to cut it. If your fruit mixture is soft enough to roll, lay the strip onto wax paper or parchment paper and roll! Store in an air-tight container. If it’s too hard and more like fruit chips, you can cut them up and store them in an air-tight container as well, without having to wrap them. Either way the fruit will be edible, so whether it’s fruit leather or fruit chips, it will still be yummy!
These last quite a while, about 2 weeks at room temperature. Longer if stored in the fridge. 🙂 Enjoy!