Every so often I take a break from my usual cookie, cake, and brownie baking to experiment with making something that’s a little off the beaten path. This time it was Fruit Roll Ups… you know, those sweet, brightly colored snacks with wacky flavor names that were huge in the 80s and 90s but didn’t really contain much discernible fruit (and that’s probably why I liked them so much). So, I was intrigued to find a recipe for fruit roll ups that contained nearly all fruit. These Strawberry Fruit Strips are tart, sweet, and slightly crunchy from strawberry seeds, and they’re healthy! It’s a perfect way to make good use of any extra strawberries you have that you haven’t turned into jam, pies, tarts, cakes, sauce, sorbet, ice cream…
All-Fruit Fruit Strips
(From Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets by Abigail Johnson Dodge)
Makes twelve 1-inch strips
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
Pinch of table salt
- Put the fruit in a food processor and pulse until completely smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour the fruit puree into a medium saucepan, stir in the lemon juice, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until it’s very thick and reduced to 2/3 cup, about 20 to 26 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the honey, to taste, and the salt. Stir until well combined.
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 175°F. Line a cookie sheet with a nonstick liner (like Silpat). You can use parchment paper if you don’t have a nonstick liner, but it will be more difficult to peel the dried fruit from the parchment paper after baking.
- Scrape the puree onto the center of the sheet and using an offset spatula, spread evenly into an 8×12-inch rectangle (it should be about 1/8 inch thick).
- Bake until the puree looks dry and is tacky, but not sticky, when you touch it with your fingertips. This can take as little as 2 hours. It took about 3 hours for my fruit strips to get tacky enough.
- Turn off the oven and let the fruit cool in the oven and continue to dry out. After 2 hours, test the leather to see if it is mostly dry and can be peeled easily from the liner/parchment paper. If the fruit is not dry enough, leave it in the oven for a few more hours or overnight. I left mine in the oven overnight.
- Cut a piece of parchment into an 8×13-inch rectangle.
- Arrange the parchment on top of the dried fruit, leaving about a 1-inch overhang on one long side, and press gently to smooth out any wrinkles in the fruit. Smoothing out the wrinkles is easier said than done. As you can see in the photo, my fruit was quite wrinkly but that might be because I used parchment paper to line the cookie sheet instead of a Silpat.
- Invert the nonstick liner/initial piece of parchment so that the second layer of parchment is on the bottom, and carefully peel away the liner/first piece of parchment. If you used parchment as your initial liner, this is where it gets a bit difficult to peel off the fruit.
- Fold the overhang on top of the fruit and beginning with one long side, roll the leather and parchment together into a tight roll, jelly roll style.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the fruit leather into 1-inch pieces and stow in a ziptop plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.