Inside: Skip the boxed fruit roll-ups and make your own with this recipe for Strawberry Fruit Leather that uses real fresh fruit and honey. No dehydrator needed!
Anyone else remember eating Fruit Roll-Ups as a kid? We’d peel them off the plastic wrap, crumple the whole thing into a ball, and pop them into our mouths. (Then spend the next minute vigorously chewing.)
If your kids are fans too, you can make your own homemade fruit roll-ups at home with simple ingredients. The homemade kind actually contains real strawberries, so it’s a fun snack with genuine strawberry flavor.
The best part: You don’t need a fancy food dehydrator to make your own fruit leather either! This one is made in a regular ol’ oven.
Ingredients you need for Strawberry Fruit Leather
- Strawberries: Use fresh berries
- Lemon Juice: Ideally fresh, but you can use bottled lemon juice
- Honey: This is optional but will give it a touch of extra sweetness
How to make Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather
Puree fresh strawberries and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pour into a deep saucepan (mixture will bubble while cooking so be sure to use a deep one) and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Toward the end of the cooking time, stir in honey.
Using a knife, spatula, or offset spatula, carefully spread the fruit purée on a large baking sheet lined with a Silpat or similar silcone baking mat and bang pan on the counter to evenly distribute mixture.
Bake in a 170 degree oven (or similar oven temperature–your lowest oven temperature may vary) for 2-4 hours, checking on it frequently, until leather is tacky but doesn’t stick to your finger (the center will be the last section to set).
If the edges are getting very dry, but the center is still wet, cut off the edges and return the rest to the oven.
Slice into long strips with a knife or pizza cutter. I usually place mine on strips of wax or parchment paper, but you can also roll them up without it.
Homemade Fruit Leathers: My best tips for success
- Use a silicone baking mat. I’ve always used a Silpat baking mat, and I’ve always been successful. If you don’t have a Silpat silicone mat, it’s worth investing in one. It will last for years and years and you’ll find all kinds of uses for it (like baking these Easy Homemade Bagels.)
- Spread the mixture as evenly as possible. Your fruit leather has the best chances of turning out well if the mixture is spread in an even layer on the baking sheet, so one section doesn’t get crispy while another stays gooey. I use a spatula to spread the fruit mixture. Then, holding the sheet pan on either side, bang it the counter a few times for good measure. Keep in mind that the leather will dry inward: The edges will dry out first, the middle last.
- Be patient (but check frequently). The drying process takes a while. My leathers typically take about 3-4 hours to bake on my oven’s lowest setting of 170 degrees F (but all ovens are different, so use that only as a guide–baking time will vary). After the first hour, I typically start checking every 30 minutes, touching the leather lightly. You’ll know it’s done when it’s still slightly sticky but doesn’t come off onto your finger. This can take a long time (I’ve heard from some readers that it’s closer to 4-5 hours in their ovens) so this is clearly a project for a day when you’re sticking around at home!
Can you make fruit leather with another type of fruit?
Yes! You can use another favorite fruit to make a delicious fruit leather. Here are my other fruit leather recipes:
Do you have to strain the fruit mixture?
Though some recipes suggest doing that, I don’t. I like knowing that the leather contains the entire fruit puree (the exception: blackberry puree, which has a lot of crunchy seeds, is best strained).
Can you make this with less sugar (or no sugar)?
Yes. My recipes for DIY fruit roll-ups call for pureeing fresh fruit, and because I like to let the fruit’s natural flavor shine through, I don’t use much added sugar. I may call for a little bit of honey or sugar in some of my recipes, but feel free to leave it out completely. My Grape Fruit Leather recipe just contains just one ingredient (grapes!).
How do you store Homemade Fruit Leather?
Place homemade fruit leather in an airtight container or zip-top bag. According to the National Center for Home Preservation, homemade fruit leather will last one month at room temperature. You can also tightly wrap rolls of homemade fruit leather and freeze them for up to a year.
Is Homemade Fruit Leather healthy?
Your child is getting real pureed fruit, which is a big improvement over the boxed kind. But I still consider fruit leather, even the homemade kind, a treat. They cling to teeth just like sticky candy, so it’s ideal if your child can brush soon afterwards (or at least rinse with water or munch on some apples or carrots to naturally wash away the residue).
Recipe Card for Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather
- 3 cups fresh strawberries
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Puree strawberries and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and pour into saucepan (it will bubble quite a bit while cooking, so use a deep saucepan).
- Cook on the stove over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Toward the end of cooking, stir in honey.
- Pour onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or similar baking mat.
- Spread into a thin layer (but not thin enough that you can see through it).
- Bake at 170 degrees for 2-4 hours, until you touch the center and it's tacky but doesn't stick to your fingers. Slice with a knife or pizza cutter.
- Place strips of fruit leather on wax paper and roll. Store in airtight container.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 leathers Serving Size: 1 leather
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g