Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather Recipe

Strawberries are my not-so-guilty pleasure. I love them. Any way and any how I will eat them. So when I remember that you could make your own fruit leather and strawberries went on sale....BINGO! I had to make it. I've made two batches so far. The first one I spread a little too thin and it ended up being kind of crunchy. The second batch was just perfect and was gone in a flash! Hubby loves it too. We have a pineapple and a watermelon sitting in our fridge. I'm going to do some research and see if those fruit leathers are possible. Although I wish I could say I made these the old fashioned way and dried them outside....I didn't. I cheated and used the oven. But it was still just as good! And now that I want to make more the weather has started to get super gloomy and now so good for dehydrating fruit puree. So, here's how I made my fruit leather. I used suggestions from The Vintage Chica and it was perfect.

Strawberry Fruit Leather
You will need:
Strawberries - I used 2lbs and it was perfect for one sheet.
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Sugar (to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting - mine was 170 degrees.
2. Rinse the berries and cut of the green tops.  Cut the berries into quarters if they are large berries.
3. Place the berries in a covered saucepan on medium heat.  Pour in 1/2 c. water for every 4 cups of fruit.
4. Bring the berries to a simmer and let them cook down for 10-15 minutes until the fruit is soft.
5. You can mash the berries us with a potato masher. I let the berries cool a little and threw it in the blender for a few seconds. Then put it back onto the stove.
6. Add sugar 1 tsp. at a time until desired sweetness and lemon juice to taste . Mine were pretty sweet so I didn't need much.
7. Simmer fruit until sugar is completely disolved and the mixture has thickened (about 5 or 10 minutes more).
8. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Pour the strawberry mixture onto the lined baking sheet.
9. Bake in the low temperature oven for as long as it takes for the puree to dry out (between 8 and 12 hours) and not be sticky to the touch...Mine took about 7 hours, but a little second in the middle was still sticky.
10. Let the fruit leather cool.  Then as you take the leather up, tightly roll it, plastic wrap and all as you would do cinnamon rolls. - I bypassed this and just folded it into a baggie. It disappears too fast!
11. Store the homemade "fruit roll ups" in airtight containers or plastic baggies.

Eat and enjoy! You may need to make two or three trays full. You can also dry this out in the sun all day if it's hot enough. Just make sure you put cheesecloth or something similar in a tented fashion so those pesky bugs don't get to it! Now it's going to be time to make some more. Hubby just finished off the last of it!

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