There are some foods (?) like gummi bears and M&Ms that one cannot imagine as “home-made”. The Fruit Roll Ups of my youth were one such item. Weren’t they meant to come in a colourful cardboard box and in crazy colours like bright blue? Sure, there were the natural “fruit leathers” out there but we never had those in my house.
I realize there are a million recipes for fruit rolls on the internet but I never paid attention until I watched one of the recent Dessert Basic videos on the Globe and Mail site. It looked so easy. I had to attempt it. I will tell you upfront that I failed and I succeeded, there were highs and there were lows….so perhaps the lessons in my fruit roll journey will help you in yours.
In the video, Pastry chef Yasmin Johaadien uses raspberries but says that you can use almost any fruit (there are exceptions which she mentions at the end of her instructions). I decided to do a blue berry batch as well.
The first step is to start with three cups raspberries (and I assumed 3 cups of any fruit you are using, I used three cups blueberries as well).
Once you’ve liquified the berries you strain them through a sieve.
Easy peasy so far, right? I did the same thing with the blueberries.
The raspberry puree, once strained, came to 1 cup final product and the blueberries yielded 1 1/2 cups. Seems that this can vary per batch, Yasmin was working with a 1 1/2 cup yield for her raspberries.
I put both purees in pots on the stove, added 1 tablespoon lemon juice to each and then reduced them by half. Now I’ve never been very good at assessing when something has reduced by half so I actually measured the raspberry puree at one point and still had to reduce further. The blueberry thickened up faster even though there was more puree.
Once reduced you add a 1/2 cup sugar to the puree and stir until just dissolved.
Then I poured both purees onto (individual) parchment-lined sheets and spread them with my off-set. The raspberry was less viscous than the blueberry.
Then I put them into the oven at 225°F for 3 hours (Yasmin says to you’ll need about 2.5-3 hours in the video). When I took them out they were (as instructed) sticky to the touch but did not seem to cling to the back of a spoon. The point being that you need some moisture in them or they will dry and crack (not roll). I allowed them to cool. And then instead of using a knife or pizza cuter to portion them, I just cut them with scissors.
And then PRESTO I peeled away the parchment!
Laying them on new parchment, I rolled them individually.
And I had a whole batch of my very own roll ups!
And now for the sad finale of the raspberry misadventure….
The above crsipy bacon-like rolls were a result of me putting the raspberry strips back in the oven because they would not peel off the parchment, and they were still too sticky and tearing, even after cooling. I think I should have reduced the puree more at the beginning and I also think that putting them back in the oven might have worked but I left them too long. And they dried up. DO NOT OVER DRY THEM.
But no one needs to know about those. I’ll just give them another whirl (and report back). Or stick with the blueberry. Everyone needs a signature “roll up”.
Has anyone made these before? Any tips are welcome! I think I might blend the berries next time. And we really did take them to Felix’s yoga for kids class. I rocked the hippie mom vibe.