If your kids are like my boys, you can go through a box of fruit roll ups in a matter of a day or two. Ok, you don't have to be a child to go through a box. I admit to indulging in a few. ;) As much as we enjoy those tasty treats, I wasn't sure they are the best (from a nutrition standpoint) for us to be eating.
I had done some researching on different recipes on making fruit leather, and honestly the method behind it seemed pretty simple. Cook fruit. Puree. Spread thin. Dry. Cut. Enjoy! So, that is exactly what I did!
We had recently been to Sam's and bought an enormous box of pluots (a plum/apricot hybrid). When we had eaten our fill, half the box remained. Enter in fruit leather experiment! I also had a peach and a nectarine which were not the best looking fruits, but trimmed up worked out great! After the pluots, peach, and nectarine were pitted and chopped, they measured 4 cups. I added about 1/2 cup water to help get the juices flowing.
The fruit simmered on low for about 15-20 minutes. I gave them a rough mash with a potato masher to make sure they were nice and soft. At this point I tasted them and added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, one at a time as to not over-sweeten. Then, I strained the mixture over a mesh colander. The fruit mash was then transfered to the blender for a whiz. I pureed until it was a nice, smooth consistency. It was such a pretty color too!
At this point, it was a thick consistency. I was able to drag my spatula across the bottom of the pan and the puree stayed seperated. Next, I lined a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. When that was secured, the fruit was spread and into the 175 degree oven it went and stayed there for quite a while. (Long enough to drive impatient little boys nuts!) Five hours later, I pulled the fruit leather out of the oven. It should feel tacky. Finally, time to cut and serve!
(Apologizing in advance for the sideways picture. No matter what I do, I cannot get it to turn even though it is turned on my computer. Who knows....
It turned out great! We all love it, and I cannot wait to experiment with the recipe more. I am almost certain you could use any fruit you like. Maybe even add some spices like cinammon or sweeten with honey. Yum! The possibilities!
Now, on to this. Ugh!