Fruit Roll-Ups are a regular fixture on the kid circuit, showing up at soccer games, parties, and even school snack time. But most of them have multiple added sweeteners, oil, synthetic dyes, and juice concentrate instead of actual fruit.
So I make my own in the oven as an occasional treat. I’ve tried all kinds of fruit, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, and apples. I typically use a combination of fruit, lemon juice, and sugar. (Get my recipes for Strawberry Fruit Leather and Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather).
As a Grapes From California Blogger Ambassador, I’ve spent time tooling around their recipe page. They already have a recipe for grape fruit leathers. But I wondered: Since grapes have such an intense, natural sweetness, could you skip the added sugar completely? I tried it, and it worked! Then I made a second batch without lemon, and my kids gave it the coveted double thumbs-up.
A one-ingredient recipe. Can’t beat that.
But I’m not going to sugar-coat it: Making homemade fruit leather can be tricky. And sometimes sticky. Whenever I post about fruit leathers here or on my Real Mom Nutrition Facebook page, I hear from at least one frustrated reader whose fruit leather flopped. So if you want to try your hand at homemade fruit leather, keep in mind my four top tips:
1. Use a Silpat. I know some people make fruit leather on parchment, but a Silpat baking mat is ideal for the job. I’ve had my Silpats for more than a decade and they’ve held up well. If you do a lot of baking, it’s definitely worth having.
2. Make it even. This is key. It helps ensure that your edges aren’t crispy while your middle’s still gooey. Use a spatula to spread your mixture on the Silpat. Then, holding the pan at each end, bang the pan on the counter a couple of times to evenly distribute the mixture across the baking mat.
3. Peek. A lot. Once the leather has been baking for about two hours, start checking it every 15 minutes or so. Depending on your oven and the thickness of your mixture, the total baking time may be more than three hours. The leather is ready when it still feels a little tacky but doesn’t come off on your finger when you touch it.
4. Don’t expect perfection. Some batches turn out better than others. Sometimes you’ll have a thick spot that just won’t dry. That’s okay. There’s a reason homemade leathers don’t look like the boxed kind, but in my book, that’s a trade-off worth making!
- 3 cups fresh seedless grapes, rinsed and removed from stems
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (or the lowest your oven will go).
- Puree grapes in a blender until completely smooth.
- Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Spread mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a Silpat baking mat. Holding the pan firmly at each end, bang the pan on the counter to be sure the mixture is evenly distributed across the Silpat.
- Bake for 2-4 hours, checking frequently. The fruit leather is done when it’s sticky but doesn’t come off on your finger when lightly touched. The edges will dry out first and you can remove those with a pizza cutter partway through baking and continue to bake the rest. When everything is dried out, remove from oven and let cool.
- Cut into strips (a pizza cutter works great for this job) and place on parchment or waxed paper. Cut paper into strips and roll up.
- Store in airtight container for up to three days or in refrigerator for up to one week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 Fruit Leather
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g