My kids LOVE fruit! They almost always choose fruit over cookies/candy. I am by no means complaining about this either. I love fruit also and am always trying new recipes with fruit in them. I came across several recipes for fruit leather. I have lots of fruit right now and like the idea that DIY fruit leather that is made without extra sugar, preservatives, cheaper and very fresh for my sweet kids.
I decided on trying just plain strawberry first since I had just hit a great sale last week of $2.69 for 2 lbs. of fresh strawberries and got a whole lot.
2lbs strawberries (or other fresh fruit)
A splash of water
Sweetener (honey, sugar, agave, etc it’s a preference thing and only needed if fruit is too tart)
First I washed the berries.
Then I cut the tops off and put some in my small blender because it’s quick with a splash of water to keep it moving. You can use a blender, food processor or food mill if you want to.
Purée the fruit completely (it took me about three time through to get all the berries since I used my small blender). This is when you taste to see if the fruit is sweet enough on its own or needs a bit of sweetener, this is to taste. My berries were very sweet and didn’t need anything extra.
Next pour all the purée into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. After it comes to a boil turn the heat down to low for about 15-20 min stirring the entire time. You can skip this step completely if you want but I read that cooking the fruit before pouring and drying gives it the shiny look of the store bought fruit leathers and I wanted to try it.
Now pour the heated fruit through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. You don’t have to do this step it’s a texture thing only. My littles prefer no seeds. You can also do this step before you boil if you prefer.
Then pour the strained mixture onto a pan with sides lined with a silicone baking mat or I’ve seen some use plastic wrap being careful not to let it touch the oven. I’ve not done it that way since I have a mat though.
Place in the oven at 200 degrees or less (most recipes I found were between 140 and 200, but my oven starts at 200 degrees) for 4-8 hrs. My strawberry leather took 5 1/2 hrs. Just keep checking until its leathery and dried out.
When they come out lift the mat and flip onto a piece of wax paper of the same size as the mat on the counter. Peel the mat from the fruit leather.
Next I rolled the leather with the wax horizontally.
Then I used kitchen shears to cut it into small rolls for the kids.
This was pretty simple with very yummy results! It reminded me of the strawberry freezer jam I made not too long ago. Strawberry season is one of my favorites! We also made the fruit leathers in blackberry and blueberry since we had a lot of them also. My kids love these.
Thanks for stopping by!