Maddy has been on a “fruit roll-ups” kick lately. Not the actual name brand kind that I so vividly remember peeling away from a cellophane wrapper when I was a kid. No, Maddy’s been eating the Gerber toddler kind. I don’t feel too bad about her eating them in moderation although if she had her way she would eat the entire box of 5 in one sitting.
So the other day while at my in-laws house, my mother-in-law said “I can’t believe you haven’t tried making these from scratch yet.” That’s all it took… Guess what I did the very next day? And guess what else? This is SO easy! So easy in fact, that I doubt Gerber will be getting my money anymore… at least it won’t be spent on their fruit leather.
The other brilliant and wonderful thing about homemade fruit leather is you can make it with hardly any sugar! The particular recipe that I adapted my fruit leather from called for 3/4 of a cup of sugar. I did not even come close to using that much. The sweetness of the strawberries and kiwis was plenty sweet enough. I only used a few tablespoons and that was all it needed. You can use whatever fruit you like, just be sure you get nice ripe fruit and the natural sweetness will shine through. Fruit leather is a natural treat that requires very little extra sweetness.
Just ask Maddy! She seemed to love it despite the fact that it had barely any sugar at all.
Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Leather Adapted from Epicurious
4 1/2 cups fruit (I used both strawberries and kiwis)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Sugar to taste (I only used 3 Tablespoons)
– Dice up the fruit.
– Place the fruit in a saucepan with the lemon juice over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the fruit is very soft.
– Purée fruit in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.
– Preheat oven to the lowest setting, at least somewhere between 140-170°F with rack in middle.
– Line a large baking sheet with plastic wrap a Silpat or other nonstick baking mat. *After comments from readers, this has been updated to reflect the use of a nonstick baking mat. Thanks so much! A Silpat works wonderfully for this project.
– Pour hot purée onto prepared pan and spread thinly (as evenly as possible) into a rectangle using an offset spatula.
– Dry purée in oven until it feels dry to the touch, about 6-8 hours.
– Cool in pan on a rack until completely dry, at least 3 hours and up to 24.
– Place a sheet of parchment paper over leather, then peel leather off liner and roll up in parchment.
– Store wrapped in plastic for up to one month.