How To Make Your Own Fruit Leather

These DIY roll-ups are as fun to make as they are to eat.

September 20, 2016
fruit roll ups
Matt Rainey

Fruit leather was a status symbol in my elementary lunchroom in the late 1970s: We second graders would wrap it around our fingers and cast imaginary spells on each other, and of course it was sweet and tangy and sticky. As an adult, I still love it, so much that I’ve started making my own. Cooking the fruit at a low temperature slowly removes water without browning, yielding a thrilling concentration of flavors, and if you make the leather with organic fruit at the peak of its season, you won’t believe how much better it is than store-bought.

Related: How To Make A 5-Minute, No-Cook Jam

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Any Kind Of Fruit Leather

Makes about twenty 1" strips

1. Position racks in bottom and top thirds of oven and heat to 170 degrees. Line 2 large sheet pans with silicone baking mats. (You can also use parchment paper, but it tends to stick.) 

2. In a food processor, purée 1½ pounds fruit (berries hulled or stemmed, stone fruit pitted) and ½ cup unsweetened applesauce until completely smooth. Taste purée. If it needs sweetening, add a little honey.

3. Pour purée down center of each sheet pan. Using an offset spatula, spread evenly across pan, leaving 1" border and making edges slightly thicker. (Edges dry out fastest, so this helps to keep them from cracking.) 

4. Transfer to oven and cook until purée looks leathery and feels firm but slightly tacky, 4–6 hours depending on water content of fruit. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature in oven. 

5. Top with a sheet of parchment paper and turn over onto a counter. Carefully remove baking mat; roll up parchment and fruit leather together. Using kitchen shears, cut rolls into 1" segments. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.