Fruit Leather. If you think about it, it might not seem too appealing, but once you’ve made it and are eating it, you’re instantly transported to any snack time you ever had around the third grade. You can’t help but be happy while you’re eating it! Making it isn’t laborious at all, but it is time consuming, so save this for a lazy Sunday and make a couple batches at once.
I got this recipe from an old Martha Stewart Living magazine. I usually only pick up the October, November, and December issues of this magazine every year because I’m a sucker for fall and winter baking. While I do think a lot of the things Martha comes up with are borderline OCD, you have to appreciate some of her classic dessert combinations and over the top holiday crafts. I appreciate the combination of apples and cranberries for fruit leather because that packs lots of Vitamin A, C, Potassium in a tasty snack. I did adjust a couple of things in the directions for the recipe to make things a bit more clear. I also substituted agave nectar for honey to make it 100% vegan. Make sure to take a peek every hour or so to make sure the edges aren’t getting brown. I would also suggest getting good quality 100% apple juice to use in this recipe. You know it’s real apple juice if there looks like there’s some “sediment” at the bottom. Don’t worry about it – shake it up and it will be delicious. The ingredients should be fresh pressed juice from apples and their puree. I really like Lakewood organic apple juice. The last note I’d like to make is that whenever fresh cranberries start to appear in grocery stores, I always buy a fresh bag to use and one to freeze (yep, just like it says on the package). This way, I can throw cranberries in muffins, breads, and…fruit leather, all year long
Apple Cranberry Fruit Leather adapted from Martha Stewart Living
3 lbs. apples (Granny Smith, Gala, McIntosh, or Pink Lady, or a mix, are good)
1 C fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1/3 C apple juice
1 T + 1 t fresh lemon juice
3 T agave nectar
3 T sugar
1. Preheat oven to 200 F. Generously spray 2 13 x 9 rimmed baking pans with cooking spray.
2. In a food processor, puree the apples, cranberries, apple juice, lemon juice, sugar, and agave nectar in two batches. Divide each batch equally between the two pans. The puree in each pan should be about 1/4″ thick. Smooth the top with either an offset spatula or lay a large piece of wax paper on the top of the puree and smooth the puree out as though evening out a crust.
3. Bake the the puree in the oven with the door slightly ajar for anywhere from 3-5 hours, until dry to the touch (mine took 3 hours). Check the fruit leather every hour or so, rotating pans if necessary. Make sure the edges aren’t browning. It will be ready to come out when dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and let set up about an hour until easy to handle. It should be stiff, but still pliable.
4. Remove from pans and trim off uneven or browned edges. Cut into desired size and roll up, if desired.
*Wrap in plastic and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator
*Keeps 1 month