Homemade Fruit Leather – In the Oven

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  • Have you ever seen a picture and thought, “I want to make that!” So you click on the link, only to find out that the blogger or chef has some SUPER fancy machine or tool that you would never have in your kitchen? Yeah, bloggers are so annoying.

    Homemade Fruit Leather – In the Oven

    Well, I happen to have a dehydrator, that was super inexpensive, that I kind of love. But it’s circular so it has a hole in the middle. It’s great for drying fruit like apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, and other stuff like that. But I’m a tad compulsive about things and fruit leather dried on a circular dehydrator is just, well, weird. I want it to come off the tray and be pretty and have straight sides. I know, I need help. It all tastes the same, but it’s just not.the.same. So, to the oven we go!

    raspberry fruit leather

    I am actually excited about this because my grandad always made homemade fruit roll ups when I was growing up, so these hold a special place in my heart. He had a rectangular dehydrator, with no hole in the middle, lucky! He would use applesauce and make tons of them, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them for when we came over. It was such a fun snack for my siblings and me, while feeding us a healthy treat at the same time.

    blackberry fruit leather

    You can use a lot of different kinds of fruit when making fruit leather or fruit roll ups, but some do work better than others. Berries generally work well and so do apples and pears. I haven’t experimented with many other than those, but I have some great tips for you. This will serve as my basic post for fruit leather and I will probably get into more fun recipes and combos as more fruits become in season. For this post, I did one batch of raspberry fruit leather and one batch of blackberry. You will notice that I put “optional” down below for most of the ingredients. That’s because if your berries are in season and ripe, ALL YOU REALLY NEED IS THE FRUIT! The add-ins are just extra little flavor bonuses, according to taste. I love adding some citrus to brighten the flavor of the fruit. Cinnamon is another favorite. And of course, you could always use a sweetener of your choice.

    Homemade Fruit Leather – In the Oven
    4 C raspberries OR blackberries {fresh or frozen}
    *optional add-ins:
    -1/4 t cinnamon
    -up to 1 T sweetener of choice {I’ve used honey and stevia. Could also use agave or sugar}
    -up to 1 T fresh lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 200º and line baking sheet with either a silicone mat/silpat or with parchment paper.
    {If you have a convection oven and are doing more than one row at a time and you choose the “convection setting, your oven might change the temperature to 175º and that’s fine.}

    Heat berries in a sauce pot over medium heat and add sweeteners and other options. Keep stirring until sugar/sweetener is incorporated, being careful not to scorch fruit. This will only take a few minutes. {The idea here is not to cook the nutrients out of the fruit, but just to dissolve the sugars}. After everything is incorporated, transfer to food processor and blend until smooth. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and level out with an offset spatula. Bake for 3-5 hours. The leather should peel off easily and will be sticky to the touch but not wet.

    raspberry – on parchment paper
     blackberry – on silicone mat

     raspberry on left, blackberry on right
    I showed these side by side so you can see how they looked when they were done. In my opinion, the silicone mat worked better and made the leather easier to remove. The parchment paper worked fine and they still tasted great, but if you are going to be making these a lot, I suggest investing in a silpat or even an inexpensive, no-name brand silicone mat.
    Last tip, it is much easier to cut these into desired strips with kitchen sheers or scissors instead of a knife or pizza cutter.
    Wrap these in plastic wrap or little baggies for easy snacking!
    Aren’t those seeds just lovely? Do me a favor and don’t strain them out. They are the best part and they set these fresh beauties apart from the processed store bought ones. Mmmmk? Thanks!
    So is anyone else just DYING for berries to be cheap and delicious and in season? What is your favorite dried fruit or fruit leather flavor? Want to see a combo flavor? I’d love to hear from you!
    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14478122032526549576 Laura

      I am obsessed with fruit leather. Seriously, I haven’t had it in the longest time, but it was my favorite thing ever as a kid. I will definitely have to make this.

      It was so great to meet you this weekend Stephanie! Thanks for taking us to all of the special KC spots!

      • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16973924525398266766 Cookin’ Cowgirl

        It does kinda seem like a kid thing! I think that’s why I feel kind of giddy when I get to eat it, ha!
        It was so great to meet you too!! Hopefully our paths will cross again soon. And thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03034479516298229473 Kelsey Jones

      This is so awesome! I like the store ones but they are a bit expensive. I’m going to have to try this. Maybe with cherries?

      • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16973924525398266766 Cookin’ Cowgirl

        OMG cherries?!? Yes! Now you’re speaking my language! I’m trying that this week!!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16683502074832676864 Jenna Mollema

      Is there a reason why I can’t see the pictures? They are grey’d out…

      • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16973924525398266766 Cookin’ Cowgirl

        Jenna, thanks for letting me know. I noticed that this morning on a few of my other posts. I think blogger is down right now. Please check back if you don’t mind. And again, thanks for stopping by and letting me know!

      • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16973924525398266766 Cookin’ Cowgirl

        Jenna, I think it’s fixed now. Can you see the images?