If there’s a shortcut or a more convenient route when it comes to recipes, I’m all for it.
But if I’ve got the time and I’m in the mood for making something homemade – even if it’s readily available at the grocery store – I’ll do that, too, especially if it renders flavors I can’t necessarily find anywhere else.
This Apple-Ginger Fruit Leather is one example. While I have absolutely loved Fruit Roll-Ups ever since I could wield a backpack and a lunchbox, there is something about making my own version from scratch every once in a while that’s fun for me. And I can make crazy flavors, like apple-ginger or strawberry-lime or blueberry-banana. Consider it the “fruits” of my labor, if you will – things that take extra preparation just taste better sometimes.
Sure, it’s a bit time-consuming, but most of that time can be spent playing Scrabble or taking a nap or having a staring contest with your cat. And whatever active time there is in the recipe is spent mostly whirring a blender, staring at a stovetop and using a spatula to spread out the leather very, very thin. Here’s how you do it:
First, prep all your ingredients (you can use 1 ¼ lbs of any fruit you like, if apple isn’t your thing. Feel free to add funky flavors other than ginger, too). Then, place them all in a blender and give it a whir until it’s pureed.
Pour that mixture into a saucepan and heat and stir, heat and stir, for a little over a half-hour until the mixture is super-thick. Then, pour it onto your prepared baking sheet.
Spread that stuff thin and evenly. I can’t stress this enough. Say it with me: “Thin and evenly. Thin and evenly.” Well done.
Bake that (thin and even) layer for just over three hours until firm and barely tacky. Depending on what fruit you use, it might change colors – a very cool magic trick that I can’t even begin to explain. Just go with it.
Allow the leather to cool completely before peeling it off in a single layer off the baking sheet.
Then, slice up that leather into strips.
Roll it up, and…
Voila! Homemade fruit leather. Now go enjoy while you finish the staring contest with your cat.
Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!