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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Make Your Own... Fruit Leather

In need of a naturally sweet treat for your child's lunchbox or your own? Make your own fruit leather at home! Fruit leathers provide the Vitamin C, fiber, iron, calcium, and magnesium of real fruit in an on-the-go, chewy, satisfying snack. 

Using frozen fruit makes perfectly ripe fruit leathers any time of year. Use a total of about 1.5 pounds of any one or several fruits (about 3 1/2 - 4 cups chopped). We like using strawberries with cherries, but the fruit possibilities are endless! 
Homemade Fruit Leather
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries; about 1lb, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet cherries, about 1/2lb, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional, to taste)
  • juice of a lemon (optional, to taste)
Puree the thawed fruit in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium-sized pot. Bring the puree to a boil. Simmer, stirring occassionally, until reduced to about 1 and 1/4 cups, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Taste. Add sugar and/or lemon juice to taste if you feel your fruit needs a little extra! 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with silicon baking sheet liner or parchment paper and spritz lightly with pan spray. 

Transfer the hot puree onto the lined baking sheets and spread thinly across baking sheet, about an 1/8 inch thick, using a spatula. Dry the fruit puree in the oven until the surface is smooth and only slightly sticky, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Let leather cool completely at room temperature, about 1 hour. Lightly spritz an additional sheet of parchment with pan spray. Press it on top of the leather, then flip the leather over and remove the pan liner. Roll the leather and then cut the roll into 1" strips. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a month or refrigerated for up to 3 months.

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