You-Made Fruit Leather

Did you know you can make your own fruit leather? All you need is applesauce, parchment paper, and a really low oven! As long as you’re making one batch, go ahead and make two—it won’t really take any longer, and you’ll have more for giving (and eating yourself).

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Hands-on time: 15   |    Total time: 240   |    Makes: 8 Servings

KITCHEN GEAR

Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Large rimmed baking sheet
Parchment paper
Measuring cups
Blender (adult needed)
Rubber spatula
Pot holders
Clean scissors
Tape or string

INGREDIENTS

2 cup unsweetened applesauce

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Turn the oven on and set the heat to 170 degrees. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper (see note below).
  2. If you’re using fruit, put the applesauce and fruit in the blender. Put the top on tightly. Turn on the blender to medium speed and blend until the mixture is smooth, 30–60 seconds. If you’re using just applesauce, you can skip this step.
  3. Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and tilt the baking sheet to spread it out. You want an even layer that’s about 1⁄4 inch thick, without any really thin or thick patches and with as few wrinkles in the parchment paper as possible. Do your best, and use the spatula if it helps.
  4. Once the oven temperature has reached 170 degrees, put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the fruit leather is just barely sticky and there are no wet patches, 3–4 hours. Set a timer and check it at 3 hours, then put it back in the oven if you need to, and check every 15 minutes after that.
  5. Set the baking sheet aside and let the fruit leather cool, about 15 minutes. Cut it into 1-inch-wide strips with the scissors, with the parchment paper still attached (trim off any raggedy or dried-up edges). Roll up the strips and use tape or string to secure them before packaging them in plastic bags or boxes for gifting. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
     

EDIBLE VOCABULARY

Parchment paper is a type of nonstick cooking wrap you can and at the supermarket where the plastic wrap and aluminum foil are. It is either white or, if it’s unbleached, brown. Don’t try substituting wax paper: The wax will melt in the oven.