Strawberry Fruit Leather - Oven Method

While I haven't spent a lot of money trying to figure out homemade fruit leather, I have spent a lot of time in an effort to perfect the recipe. It's been a frustrating challenge to say the least, especially when making fruit leather seems so easy in principal. It's just fruit and heat, right? Yes and no.

Here's a breakdown of my results.

Batches 1-4: I used juicy strawberries from the farmer's market, baked them for three hours and the batch turned out perfect and chewy with a deep red color. I couldn't believe how easy it was and was very busy congratulating myself afterwards. Kenya actually found one of the batches that I hid in the closet to save for his school lunch and ate the entire thing! At least I know he got his vitamin C for the day -- I mean, week!

Batches 5-8: So much for being proud of myself. These attempts were total disasters. This time I used organic strawberries from the grocery that were much bigger and less juicy than the ones I bought from the farmer's market. Sadly, each of these batches burned when I cooked them at different times right around three hours. I was left totally frustrated.

Batches 9-12: Back to perfection using berries from the farmer's market. I kept the cooking time at three hours for each batch and I finally realized the juicier the berries, the longer they take to cook. You really have to judge the berry you are using before setting your cooking time.

Batches 13 & 14: Back to the organic grocery store berries, but this time I wised up and only baked them for only two hours, which produced one batch that burned a bit on the edges (because I didn't spread it out totally even) but another turning out perfect.

Here's a big tip - you have to experiment for yourself with this recipe. Everyone's berries, puree thickness, and ovens are different, so there isn't one definitive cooking time. My best advice is to spread the mixture as evenly as possible on the baking sheet and keep a close eye on the fruit while it's cooking. Be prepared for a bit of trial and error and don't lose your cool. Hopefully when you find your ideal cooking time, you'll be knocking out batches of your own fruit leather with ease.

Another option is to use a dehydrator. I'm a huge fan of using my amazing dehydrator because it makes fruit leather even better tasting and looking than what you buy at the grocery. 

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Strawberry Fruit Leather - Oven Method (8 fruit leather strips)

Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 120 mins

egg free

nut free

dairy free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave, optional

Preparation

1. Remove the stems from the strawberries and place them in a blender. Drizzle a bit of honey or agave if you want to sweeten them up a bit. This is optional, and if your berries are very sweet, you can skip additional sweetener. Blend until smooth. 

2. Pour the strawberry puree onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mixture in a completely even layer. You don't want the mixture to be too thin or too thick - this is where the experimenting comes in to play! 

3. Set the oven temperature to 250F degrees, and bake the fruit leather for 2-3 hours, until it is dry to the touch, and no longer sticky. Cooking times will vary depending on your particular oven and how thick you spread the mixture. The fruit leather will feel stiff when it comes out of the oven. Allow it to sit at room temperature to soften, about 2 hours (I have had best results when I've let it soften overnight). 

4. Keeping the fruit leather on the parchment paper, cut it into strips and roll up. Fruit leather can be stored at room temperature for a few months, although we never let ours sit around that long! 

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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13 comments

  • Shanna

    I tried making this 3 times. 3 times it failed. Bad. I think I might save up for a food dehydrator

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  • Theresa

    lauren i had the same problem the edges turn out burnt n crispy and the middle is soft n mushy i have wasted three batches n tons of strawberries!! help or advise please my son loves fruit strips and i would love to make these for him

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  • Bonnie

    Hmm, I just tried this and did a full 2 hours. When it came out, it's brown...like brownies, lol. Im thinking it's burnt? Im not sure what it's supposed to look like.

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  • Melissa Hellon

    Lauren, Theresa, and Bonnie, try lowering the oven temp and leave it in the oven for a few hours longer. I had the same issues until I set my oven to 170 degrees and left the fruit in the oven for about 6-8 hrs. It worked great! Bonnie, it's supposed to look like a dark red, and it might come out crispy but just let it sit out for awhile and it will Soften up nicely. Hope this helps...

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  • Theresa

    Thanks for responding Melissa! I plan on trying ur method out with frozen strawberrys in a min... I refuse to waste n e more fresh fruit on this :) I'll let u know how it goes **fingers crossed**

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  • Nastri Di Frutta Gommosa TempodiCottura.It Cucina Per Bambini E Ragazzi

    [...] che tagliava a strisce e in modo divertente e inusuale proponeva ai suoi bambini, andate a vederlo qui se volete. Ma le fragole ora proprio non è stagione così ho provato un altro tipo di frutta [...]

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  • SaraJacobs

    can't wait to try this.

    leave a comment

  • Red Tricycle Peach Fruit Leather

    [...] you want to eat peaches for every meal there’s nothing you can really do with them except….make fruit leather! If you think my kids like eating peaches, you should just see how excited they get for this [...]

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  • Kim

    Join

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  • Baynia

    Love love love can't wait to try!

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  • Jenny

    I tried today.turned out perfect! U have to check it after 2hours! I check it every 10mins

    leave a comment

  • nettie928

    Hi Catherine - My granddaughter is a very picky eater! I am just getting her to try new things and she is 11. lol! She has asked if you have a recipe for orange fruit leather.

    leave a comment

  • Mahesh

    i Lke strawberry -wee fruit leather above receipe

    leave a comment