This is a fun cooking project to do with kids.
By Ashley Moore
By America’s Test Kitchen
Have you ever eaten Fruit Roll-Ups? These chewy, fruity treats are produced by General Mills and have been in supermarkets since 1983. That’s a long time. But rolled fruit snacks have actually been around far longer.
More than 100 years ago in New York City, a Syrian immigrant imported apricot paste and turned it into a fruit leather called amardeen. It came in large sheets, so when a customer wanted to buy some, they simply cut off a long piece and handed it to them.
Triple-Berry Fruit Leather
Makes 12 fruit strips
Vegetable oil spray
4 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries — strawberries hulled and chopped)
2 large Granny Smith apples (8 ounces each), peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a 14-by-11-inch rectangle on a large sheet of parchment paper. Flip parchment and place on a rimless baking sheet. Spray parchment evenly with vegetable oil spray.
- Place berries in a blender jar followed by apples. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until fruit is finely chopped, about 10 1-second pulses, scraping down sides of blender jar with rubber spatula a few times.
- Add sugar and replace lid. Process until very smooth, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of blender jar with rubber spatula halfway through processing.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large saucepan. Pour berry mixture through strainer into saucepan. Use the back of a ladle to stir and press on mixture to get out as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer.
- Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, whisking often and lowering heat if mixture begins to splatter, until mixture is thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Mixture should measure 2 cups. If it is more than 2 cups, return mixture to saucepan and continue to cook over medium-low heat until mixture measures 2 cups.
- Pour berry mixture onto the center of the parchment-lined baking sheet. Use an icing spatula to spread mixture into an even layer to the edges of a 14-by-11-inch rectangle. Gently jiggle and tap the baking sheet on the counter to create a smooth, even layer.
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake until mixture is set, 4 to 5 hours. To check for doneness, remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack. Gently touch center of fruit leather — it should feel dry but slightly tacky to touch, and fruit leather should peel away from parchment cleanly. (If it’s still too wet, use oven mitts to transfer baking sheet back to oven and continue baking.)
- Let fruit leather cool completely, about 30 minutes. Use scissors to cut fruit leather (along with parchment backing) crosswise into 12 1-inch-wide strips (trimming away any dry edges as needed). Roll up fruit leather strips. Serve. (Fruit leather can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to two weeks.)
For 25 years, home cooks have relied on America’s Test Kitchen recipes developed by professional test cooks and vetted by 60,000 at-home recipe testers. www.americastestkitchen.com/TCA.