If your children enjoy the eating the store bought fruit roll ups, you should give these homemade fruit leathers a try. They're easy to make (no dehydrator required although you can use one) and it's a great way to use up extra fruit and just have a fun afternoon with the kids or grandkids.
* 4 cups fresh fruit of choice
* ½ cup of sugar or honey
* 1 tablespoon fruit pectin (the kind used in jelly making)
* Parchment paper
* Baking sheet
** Other flavors can be added, like a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a mint leaf or two, a dash of vanilla flavoring or a sprinkle of cinnamon. When making homemade fruit leathers, you control the sugar and the flavorings that go into each batch.
How to Make Fruit Leathers
Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Place fresh fruit into blender and puree until smooth. If fruit choice is seeded berries, like blackberries, strain fruit puree through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth after pureeing, then pour back into blender. Next, add the sweetener (sugar or honey) and pectin and blend until thoroughly mixed. If other flavors are being added, add them along with the sweetener and pectin.
Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour puréed fruit mix onto parchment paper and spread the mixture out evenly with a spatula. Place in oven and bake for 6 hours or until mixture is no longer wet. Test by touch, finished fruit leather is not tacky to the touch.
Remove finished fruit leather from oven and allow to cool. When cool, use scissors to cut through the parchment paper and fruit leather and cut lengthwise across the middle. Remove one half from baking sheet and cut into two-inch segments, then roll up each segment to create an individual sized fruit roll-up. Store in an airtight container.
Dehydrator Fruit Leather
To make fruit leather in the dehydrator, follow all the same preparation steps. Cover dehydrator rack with parchment paper (cut to fit), pour fruit puree on each rack and smooth with a spatula. Dehydrate on lowest setting for 48 hours. Test for doneness and turn every 8 hours during the dehydrating process. Cut, roll and store finished fruit leather in an airtight container.