Sunday, October 20, 2013

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups






 
Another homemade kid friendly snack and I know exactly what is in it instead of getting something processed at store. 

I always loved fruit roll ups as a kid so instead of buying them at the store, I wanted to attempt making these for my kids.

Keep in mind this is not a short process to make, so if you're going to make them, make sure you're going to be home for at least 6-7 hours while making these.



Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups



1 pound fresh fruit (I used Trader Joe's tropical fruit blend)

¾ cup (5¼ ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about ½ lemon)

Yield: 12 rolls, 5 by 5-inch size

Cut the fruit in half or quarters, depending on size, and mash roughly with a potato masher in a large bowl. You should have about 2 cups mashed berries. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to break down the berries slightly. Stir once or twice while they sit to dissolve the sugar.

Pour the fruit mixture and their natural syrup into a blender and blend for 1 minute, until a smooth puree forms. Pour into a high-sided pan or Dutch oven (the wider the better, to help the liquid evaporate evenly) and bring to a low boil over medium heat.

Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often. Visual cues are your best friend when you’re cooking fruit: the liquid will foam, then clarify as the bubbles slow and the puree thickens. At the final stage, the puree will be consistently thick and almost opaque, and it will “mound” slightly instead of immediately seeping back when pushed across the bottom of the pan with a spatula.






Preheat the oven to 175˚F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the cooked fruit between the baking sheets and use an offset or silicone spatula to spread evenly into as thin and wide a rectangle as possible. The jam should be no more than ⅛ inch thick but still as evenly opaque as you can manage; thinner, more translucent spots will harden into brittle.



Heat in the oven for 5 to 6 hours, or until the fruit feels slightly tacky but no longer sticky. The timing will depend on the humidity level; a rainy day makes for a longer set.

Transfer the parchment to wire racks and cool completely then transfer the fruit leather to sheets of waxed paper large enough to leave overhang on all sides. Use kitchen shears to cut the fruit leather from each pan into 6 (5 by 5-inch) squares. Fold the extra waxed paper over the edges before rolling so they won’t fuse.


 
 


Store the Roll-Ups at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.

These came out great. Jack and the kids all loved them. I think I'm going to try just berry next time or possibly even apple ones. You can do so many different flavors with these and when you go to the store and get fruit roll ups, there's crazy flavors, but the difference with making these homemade is it's not PROCESSED FOOD and it's a lot healthier than buying fruit roll ups from a box.