Fruit leather brings back great childhood memories. The squeaky sound of the sweet disc-shaped snack being pulled off the plastic is as recognizable as popcorn popping. When I was a child I convinced my mother to buy one of those infomercial dehydrators for the sole purpose of making fruit leather. Little did we know you could make it at home in your oven! There are several recipes floating around that require you to cook down the berries, or use frozen fruit, so I tested them all and simplified it for you.
Test 1: Fresh or Frozen?
The first thing I wanted to know was does it really matter if the fruit is fresh or can I use what I already have in the freezer? I tried both fresh and frozen strawberries and the resulting taste was the same. So, if you have left-over fresh strawberries, use them. If you only have frozen strawberries, use them!
Test 2: Cooked or Fresh?
There were recipes that instructed you to cook down about 1 cup of fresh fruit with 2 tablespoons of water for about 10 minutes on the stovetop before blending the mixture. I tried this with both strawberries and blueberries and was surprised that this too had little effect on the taste. So, don’t bother cooking down the fruit.
Test 3: Blueberries or Strawberries?
Strawberries win hands down. Unless you really love blueberries I would not recommend using them to make fruit leather unless you add more honey.
After all the testing below is the simplified recipe:
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ - 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
Preheat the oven at 175°F. Blend the fruit with two tablespoons of water. If the fruit is not as sweet as you would prefer add honey to taste.
Place a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet (or try using a silicone mat). Pour the mixture and spread thinly but evenly. Make sure the edges are not too thin or it will crisp up.
Bake for 4 hours or until the mixture is completely dry. Peel the fruit leather off the parchment paper and enjoy!
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