What do you do when life gives you strawberries? A half flat of strawberries? Well, more specifically, when your good friends Tony & Adrienne give you all those strawberries. If you’re like me, you decide to make Strawberry Fruit Leather.
Fruit roll-ups. Fruit smash. Fruit leather. Whatever you call it, it’s fun! Pureed and dried strawberries. Old school style, but with less sugar, no preservatives, and a fresher taste. Your kids will love it. But, so will you!
What a great way to preserve those strawberries. I had more than enough berries for the smash, I also have enough berries to make a couple of other things. And, I can be creative and experimental with the berries. Maybe balsamic strawberry ice cream. Maybe roasted berries with chiles. So many options, but I’d better get working on them before the berries go bad.
And, I bet if you didn’t want to use sugar, you could use maple syrup instead. I haven’t tried it, but I bet the only thing is that you’d need to cook it a little more because of the added liquid.
Strawberry Fruit Roll-Up
Makes one large sheet (15×10) of leather, enough to share with several people
1 ½ lb (4 ½ cups) strawberries, halved
2/3 cup sugar
Purée strawberries and sugar in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heavy saucepan.
Place the saucepan with the puree inside over medium-high heat, and bring the purée to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally (more frequently toward end), until thick enough to mound slightly. The puree will have reduced to about 1 to 1 ¼ cups in about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It will also be darker in color.
Preheat oven to 200° F with rack in middle. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick liner like a silpat.
Pour hot purée onto liner and spread thinly, and as evenly as possible with an offset spatula into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Dry the cooked purée in oven until it feels drier (it shouldn’t stick to your fingers) but is still slightly tacky, about 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Cool on liner on a rack until completely dry, at least 3 hours and up to 24.
Place a sheet of parchment paper over leather, then peel fruit off liner and roll up in parchment.
The fruit smash will keep in a sealed bag at room temperature for 1 month, if you don’t eat it all before then.