If you want to make healthy, low sugar fruit snacks get outta here now. This is loaded with sugar and corn syrup, mostly pears with just a teensy amount of actual strawberries, and the fiber is strained out. Now you're probably wondering, "Why not use 100% strawberries?" Because then you'd just be reconfiguring strawberries into a 2D shape, not recreating a proper Fruit Roll-Up.
Real Fruit Roll-Ups rely on pears as the base, but dried apple rings work well and seem more widely available. Use what you can find. The point is to make a mild flavored fruit the bulk of the mix and then to use a small amount of freeze dried fruit to flavor it appropriately. I went for strawberry, but use any kind of freeze dried fruit you like. The splash of rose flower water gives the roll-ups a kind of floral nuance a bit like the odd flavor of the cellophane wrapper, but leave it out if it's not important to you.
Note: All measurements are in weights, as volume measures can be very imprecise. I strongly recommend using a scale for all pastry projects. Serious Eats' recommended kitchen scale is the Oxo Good Grips Scale with Pull Out Display.
- 12 ounces dried pears or apple, roughly chopped
- 24 ounces apple juice, divided
- 12 ounces sugar
- 6 ounces corn syrup
- 1.2 ounces (1 bag) freeze dried strawberries or other fruit
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce coconut oil, or other neutral flavored oil
- 1/2 teaspoon rose flower water
- optional: a few drops of food coloring
For the Fruit Purée: Combine chopped dried fruit with 12 ounces of apple juice, sugar and corn syrup in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until fruit has become tender and the mixture has become extremely dry and thick.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse freeze-dried strawberries until reduced to a powder.
When fruit has finished cooking, add the mixture to the strawberry powder in food processor bowl. Pulse until chunky. Add remaining apple juice, lemon juice, coconut oil, rose flower water, and food coloring, if using. Processes continuously until mixture has become quite smooth and no large chunks remain.
For the most authentic Fruit Roll-Ups, pass this fruit mixture through a food mill or a sieve and discard any solids that won't pass through (about 3 ounces). It'll take some elbow grease, but you'll be rewarded with some freakishly smooth roll-ups.
To Dry the Roll-Ups: Preheat oven to 150°F (65°C), or as low as your oven will go. Line two sheet pans with silicon mats (I've read microwave-safe plastic wrap works too, but I haven't tested that myself). Pour half the mixture into each and spread into an even, thin layer with an offset spatula.
Dry roll-ups in the oven for 6 to 10 hours. I know that's a big window, but all ovens differ wildly in how low of a temperature they can achieve. The time it takes will depend on your lowest oven temperature and roll-up preferences. In any event, you want to dry the fruit purée until it is perfectly dry to the touch and not at all squishy when pressed firmly. You should be able to peel up a corner and tug gently without the roll-up tearing.
Cut and Store the Roll-Ups: When the fruit purée has dried adequately, remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Use a knife to loosen fruit sheets from the edges of the pan. Press a sheet of parchment or wax paper against the surface of fruit and invert onto a cutting board. Peel off plastic wrap or silicon from the bottom.
If you want to make shapes for "pull outs," use the tip of a knife to gently score each sheet into 8 square portions (this will prevent you from stamping shapes that will accidentally get cut in half when you portion out the roll-ups). Next, use a cookie cutter to stamp various shapes, but do not remove them.
Next, whether you're making pull outs or not, place a fresh sheet of plastic wrap over the exposed fruit. Use the tip of a chef's knife to cut through plastic wrap, fruit and parchment, dividing each fruit sheet into 8 squares. For Fruit by the Foot, just cut each large sheet into 8 long strips instead. Either way, roll them up and store in an airtight container for about one week at room temperature.
Food processor, sieve, silicon mat