Preserving the Harvest

Strawberry Rhubarb Fruit Leather

Anybody else totally obsessed over fruit roll ups as a kid? Alright, anybody else STILL obsessed over fruit rolls ups, because you stay a kid at heart? Man, I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved chewy fruity foods.

Homemade fruit leathers are an excellent alternative to commercially made fruit roll ups. Mostly because you can control the amount of sugar in the fruit leather and you can leave out unnecessarily added food coloring and other chemicals. All-natural or homemade fruit leather makes a good snack for camping or hiking. You can also offer it as a treat at kids’ parties instead of sugary candy.

It is that time of year again when I’m going to be inundated with fresh fruit. I already have a refrigerator full of fresh rhubarb and instead of making jam or jelly, I wanted to learn how to make fruit leather. Since we do a ton of hiking, camping, and backpacking, having fruit leather would be awesome. Luckily, there have been other people attempting to use rhubarb to make fruit leathers. For this recipe, this will probably be the first and last time I will actually recommend using strawberries as well.

For this recipe, I cooked the rhubarb until it was completely falling apart. You could also cook the strawberries, but it is not necessary. Fresh strawberries blend really nicely and do not need to be cooked before making the fruit puree for the fruit leather. The first batch I made, I only used 1/2 cup honey. Man was that fruit leather sour! The second batch, I used 1 cup honey. The fruit leather is delicious and awesome. I look forward to making more this summer.

Strawberry Rhubarb Fruit Leather

  • Servings: 4 to 5 trays (14 ¼
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds strawberries
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (to prevent cracking)

Directions

  • Wash and roughly chop rhubarb.
  • Place the rhubarb and 1/2 cup of water in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat.
  • Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is fully tender and falling apart, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wash and hull strawberries.
  • With an immersion blender (or in a blender or food processor), puree the rhubarb, strawberries, honey, and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Pour ~1 1/2 cups fruit puree onto trays (my trays measure 14 ¼” x 10 ¾”).
  • Spread puree evenly, about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. For drying in the oven a 13″ X 15″ cookie pan with edges works well. Line pan with plastic wrap being careful to smooth out wrinkles. Do not use waxed paper or aluminum foil. To dry in a dehydrator, specially designed plastic sheets can be purchased or plastic trays can be lined with plastic wrap.
  • Dry fruit leathers at 140ºF until done (8+ hours).
  • When done, peel from plastic while still warm.
  • Fruit leathers will keep up to 1 month at room temperature. For storage up to 1 year, place tightly wrapped rolls in the freezer.

Notes

  • Leather dries from the outside edge toward the center. Test for dryness by touching center of leather; no indentation should be evident.
  • Cookie cutters can be used to cut out shapes that children will enjoy.

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