You will need:
Your oven free all day!(Don't plan on baking anything for the day.)
7 cups of fresh or frozen fruit, your choice (I used frozen strawberry for this particular batch. Fresh is easier to work with though.)
2 c. of raw sugar (You can use regular granulated sugar just as well.)
1 tsp. of lemon juice
1 c. of applesauce is optional. This stretches the recipe.
Add the fruit, sugar and lemon juice to a big soup pot. Turn on medium heat to cook it all down. (The dark purpley colored stuff in the picture is some blueberry sauce I had that needed to get used so I threw it in for extra flavor.)
Once it is on it's way to being a soupy strawberry mixture, get out your potato masher and start mashing up the fruit. Keep doing this from time to time.
You don't want any huge chunks.
Stir occasionally in between with a spoon.
You don't want the strawberries to stick to the pot.
I hope you can see through the steam in this picture. The Strawberries have really cooked down now. You can tell by looking at the sides of the
pot that it is getting thicker.
I am adding my cup of applesauce. I used my homemade kind but you can use what ever you have. Applesauce with cinnamon in it would be really good too!
Before I stir in the applesauce I wanted to get a close up of the strawberries.
They are nice and thick. To get to this point shouldn't take more than 20 minutes or so.
Don't rush the process by turning up the heat too high. It will only burn and make the pot hard to clean. Besides the smell is so sweet and strawberry-ish we don't mind hanging out in the kitchen while it cooks.
This would be a good time to dab a little on a plate and let it cool off a little to try it and see if it is sweet enough. Don't be afraid to sprinkle in a little more sugar.
Sometimes your fruit may not have enough sweetness to it.
Applesauce is in. Now I will just cook it a little bit longer.
The less water the less time in the oven.
Prepare a large cookie sheet, (17 1/4 x 11 1/2 x 1 inch) lined with parchment paper.
Do NOT use wax paper.
It will stick to the fruit leather and not come off.
Pour the strawberry mixture onto the parchment paper.
Spread it out with your spoon.
Make sure you evenly distribute the strawberry.
Fold the paper edges back so they don't end up falling
into your leather while it's drying.
Pop it into the oven for about 8 hours at 160 degrees.
I keep checking it from time to time after about 5 hours.
Sometimes I have taken it out sooner than 8 hours.
Probably because I had cooked it down
further when it was on the stove.
Here's what it will look like when it's done.
I like to trim all the way around the edges to give it a nice clean look.
Then, I cut it into strips.
Here's what it looks like as leather strips....
Here it's all twisted...
You can roll it up and store it, but ours has never lasted long
enough to need to worry about storing it.
There are so many different flavors to experiment with!
Let us know what you tried!
Tip: I would double the recipe so you can have two pans going at the same time.
This recipe fills only one pan with dimensions listed above.