One of my favorite lunchtime treats when growing up were the Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups.
While they are delicious, the name is a lie!
You won’t find a single real strawberry on the ingredient list… Just, two kinds of corn syrup, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and red 40 and pears from concentrate?
But no need to worry, you can make these in your own kitchen from three simple ingredients.
(We can say they are for the kids…. but I make them for myself 😉 )
3. Lemon juice
Not only can you make these yourself and save a little bit of money, but you also know exactly what is in them.
1 pound strawberries, hulled
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Lemon juice ( preferably fresh squeezed)
Yield: 12 5″x 5″ rolls (remember that you can scale this recipe up to make more!)
Cut the strawberries in half and give them a good mash with a potato masher or large fork in a large bowl. You should have about 2 cups mashed berries.
Stir in the sugar and lemon juice and allow it to sit at room temperature for a half hour. This will allow the acids to begin breaking down the berries .
Stir once or twice while they sit to dissolve the sugar.
Pour the strawberries and their natural syrup into a blender and purée for 1 minute, until the mixture is nice and smooth.
Pour into a high-sided skillet or pan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. The wider the pan the better, this will help the liquid evaporate quickly.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, making sure to stir often.
There are a few visual queues to look for when cooking the fruit:
-The liquid will foam, then clarify as the bubbles slow and the purée thickens.
-At the final stage, the purée will be consistently thick and almost opaque, and it will “mound” slightly instead of immediately seeping back when pushed across the bottom of the pan with a spoon.
Preheat your oven to 175˚F. Line 2 high sided baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the cooked fruit between the baking sheets and use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly into as thin and wide a rectangle as possible. The jam should be no more than ⅛ inch thick but still as evenly opaque as you can manage; thinner, more translucent spots will harden into brittle.
Heat in the oven for 5 to 6 hours, or until the fruit feels slightly tacky but no longer sticky. The timing will depend on the humidity level; high humidity will lead to longer cooking times.
Transfer the parchment to wire racks and cool completely then transfer the fruit leather to sheets of waxed paper large enough to leave overhang on all sides. Use kitchen shears or a pizza cutter to cut the fruit leather from each pan into 6 (5 by 5-inch) squares. Fold the extra waxed paper over the edges before rolling so they won’t fuse.
Store the Roll-Ups at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
While these may not last nearly as long as the store bought brands they are a much healthier alternative.
Oh! It doesn’t just stop at strawberries. You can use blueberries, blackberries, apples and all kinds of different fruits ( and tons of different mixtures too!)
These are the full sugar versions but I’m curious, has anyone tried to make these with splenda, sweet-n-low, or stevia?
Just a thought for friends that need to limit their sugar intake.