Moving on from my homemade fruit snacks experiment, I decided to try making dried fruit leather. I've wanted to try this for a long time, but I didn't have a dehydrator and it seemed like a lot of work. Also, I was afraid it wouldn't turn out and I'd have wasted all that fruit. Well, I used the excess peaches we have around here right now, so there was really nothing to lose, and it turned out great! Here's the step-by-step to making homemade fruit roll-ups.
You need 4 cups of cut up fruit for 2 cups of puree for 1 pan of fruit leather. I used 8 cups of cut up peaches, which yielded 4 cups of puree and 2 jelly roll pans of leather.
- Wash and cut up fruit. My peaches weren't overripe, so I cooked them for about 20 minutes. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice if you are using a light colored fruit.
- Puree the fruit completely smooth. Add sweeteners if needed. I added 2-3 Tablespoons of honey, since my peaches weren't very ripe.
- Cover your pans with plastic wrap. I used my Silpat silicone mat on one pan and it turned out So Much Better than the plastic wrap one. If you use plastic wrap, smooth it out as much as you can, and make sure it doesn't fold down over your puree on top. If it does, the puree will not dry. You can stick the plastic wrap to the sides of the pan using a dab of the puree.
- Spread the puree on the pan. Use about 2 cups for each jelly roll pan, less for a smaller cookie sheet. It should be less than 1/4" thick.
- Set your oven to the lowest temperature. Mine did not go under 170. The fruit is supposed to dry at 150, so what I did was heat the oven for a while, turn if off for a while, etc. I left it over night in the warm oven, and it need a couple more hours, so it was about 15 hours total. If your oven goes down to 150, 8 hours would probably work.
- When the puree isn't sticky to the touch, it is done. It looked so thin I didn't think I'd be able to peel it off, but it came off (of my Silpat!) so easily. It had a more difficult time peeling it from the plastic wrap. It was stickier, so I put it back in the oven for another hour.
- Once the leather is peeled from the sheet, place it on a fresh sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up. Then cut it into fruit roll-ups!
I put them in a plastic bag to keep them from hardening, but not before the baby ate all the scraps from the plastic wrap tray. Considering he won't eat peaches, I'd call this a success! Peach Face