This past weekend was the Strawberry Festival in a nearby community. We don't usually go for the funnel cakes and carnival rides, but on Friday afternoon we found ourselves out of school, in Pungo watching the 4-H animal judging portion of the festival.
The boys had a great time and are now begging for a sheep to raise and show. (Great idea Eren!)
But even though the strawberry season has not been what is usually is because of spiratic temperatures and less than average rain fall, we ended up bringing home our share of strawberries.
We're freezing most of them for smoothies and ice cream, but we're making fruit leather with the rest.
Fruit Leather Recipe
- Lemon juice
- Sugar (if needed)
**4 cups of fruit yield about one sheet of fruit leather
- Preheat the oven to the lowest setting or 120 degrees...the lowest my oven would go was 170 degrees.
- Rinse the berries and cut of the green tops. Cut the berries into quarters if they are large berries.
- If the berries are sweet you will not need to add much sugar, but if they are tart you will need to add a bit more.
- Place the berries in a covered saucepan on medium heat. Pour in 1/2 c. water for every 4 cups of fruit. Bring the berries to a simmer and let them cook down for 10-15 minutes until the fruit is soft.
- Use a potato masher to mash the fruit that is left in the pan until fairly smooth. (Or wait for the mixture to cool a bit and put it in your food processor or blender.) If you kiddos are sensetive to the seeds, you could strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove the strawberry seeds.
- Add sugar 1 tsp. at a time until desired sweetness and lemon juice to taste I added 1/2 c. sugar and the juice from 1/2 of a lemon to give it some real zing.
- Simmer fruit until sugar is completely disolved and the mixture has thickened (about 5 or 10 minutes more).
- 8. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Pour the strawberry mixture onto the lined baking sheet until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick or so.
- 9. Bake in the low temperature oven for as long as it takes for the puree to dry out (between 8 and 12 hours) and not be sticky to the touch...ours took 6.5 hours since it was at a higher temp.
- 10. Let the fruit leather cool. Then as you take the leather up, tightly roll it, plastic wrap and all as you would do cinnamon rolls.
- 11. Then cut the leather into desired widths.
- 12. Store the homemade "fruit roll ups" in airtight containers or plastic baggies.
Our recipe was adapted from this one that gives directions for making fruit leather out of many different kinds of fruit. The boys absolutely love it, and so did the new neighbor kids next door. Which is music to a mamas ears. I think we'll be try making some blackberry leather next. Our blackberries have ever so slightly started looking much more pink than green.
I have an old 1905 cookbook from my great, great Aunt Grace that directs you to spread the softened fruit out on a plate and set it in the sun for 24 hours. We might try that method as well and see which one comes out better.