If you've scrolled down to the recipe already, you've probably noticed that these take like forever and a day to make. I'm exaggerating, but truly, up to 16 hours in the oven for these bad boys. Here's the thing though, they are pretty worth it. And despite all that, so easy to make...despite the waiting!
This was my first time making these and I did run into a couple of glitches. Nothing major, but I'll share with you some of my suggestions to make these. First of all, it really shrinks up as you bake them - you'll notice a drastic difference after the first 6-8 hours.
I used my immersion blender to puree the fruit after it stewed with the lemon juice. It has a cup and blade attachment that is like a mini food processor. The mixture JUST fit, hence the spilling. But, it worked! You can use a blender, too or a regular food processor.
Transferring from one baking sheet to another was tricky. Luckily, the only other pan I had was 11 x 18-inch, which helped because I was transferring from a smaller pan to a larger one. I picked up the plastic wrap and then tried to turn it upside down onto the bigger pan. Well, since the fruit wasn't quite set on the bottom side, it started to slide and I had to spread it out again in a few places. Try quickly inverting the actual baking sheet onto the new one, then lift the pan up, then remove the top layer of plastic.
I cut the strips into larger pieces to take the pictures, but then I only had like 8 pieces! All I kept thinking was, all that waiting and this is all I get? So, I cut them in 1/2 again and got 16...which made me feel better. Next time I'll probably double the recipe so it yields a lot more.
Makes 16 rectangle strips (1" x 2.5")
Homemade Strawberry Fruit Strips
2 cups of diced strawberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 150-175 degrees (on my oven, this is Warm). In a sauce pan on medium, combine the strawberries and lemon juice and cover. Stew until they are very soft and mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Pour the stewed strawberries into a blender or food processor and puree.
Cover a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet with plastic wrap and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the puree onto the plastic wrap and spread evenly on the pan, to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Place in oven for 6-8 hours.
Right before taking it out of the oven, cover another baking sheet with plastic wrap and invert the fruit leather onto this pan. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Place back in the oven for another 6-8 hours. If it becomes too brittle at any point, use a pastry brush to apply water to rehydrate it.
Cool the fruit before cutting into desired strips. Place in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap and store in a cool place.
(Source: Adapted from Georgia Pellegrini)