Friday, August 19, 2011

Apricot Fruit Rolls

Preserving season is in full swing around here. One great way to use ripe, fresh fruit is to make fruit rolls. The kids love them, but adults gobble them up as well. We got a fabulous deal on apricots. I know that my kids are not real fans of apricot freezer jam or bottled apricots, but I knew they would eat them as fruit leather - this is the old-fashioned term for fruit rolls. (I don't feel that old - we grew up calling it fruit leather and I've had to shift gears since they started selling them as fruit rolls.) They are really quite simple to make.

Puree the apricots in a food processor.

You want them good and smooth - 

Add just a bit of lemon juice to help the puree hold its color.

Pour into a large bowl.

If you don't have fresh apricots, that's OK. I had some bottled apricots from 2004 that I needed to use so I drained the juice off and pureed them. They look just as good as the fresh. So you could use canned apricots or peaches and achieve the same results. This also means that you can make fruit rolls any time of year, not just in the late summer and fall when the fruit is in season.

I always add some applesauce to stretch the flavored puree. Applesauce is inexpensive and takes on the flavor of what you mix it with. You could also use pear sauce the same way.

Sweeten with honey or corn syrup to taste. If you use sugar, the fruit roll dries brittle instead of being pliable and will just break apart into fruit chips instead of roll up like you want it to.

I use a dehydrator to create fruit rolls. (You can do it in the oven, but it is much more difficult to keep a consistent low temperature without hot spots. You can search online for tips about using your oven.) You need to purchase the special fruit roll trays to go with your dehydrator. Spray the trays with oil before spreading the fruit puree on them. This will make them easy to pull off when they are done.

Spread your puree out very thin and as uniform in thickness as possible. Cover any remaining puree and store in the fridge until you have room in your dehydrator for another batch. I always wait until I'm all finished with my puree to wash the trays. Just re-spray and use again.

Stack all the trays on your dehydrator base and dry at 130 degrees for about 8 hours.

When they are done, they will not feel sticky to the touch, just dry and leathery. (These pictures are from a different flavor of fruit roll so that is why they appear red.) Peel them up carefully off the tray.

Cut in half using kitchen scissors so they can fit on plastic wrap.

Roll up 

Once you are finished rolling all your fruit rolls, store in a gallon ziplock bag or airtight container for a year or more or as long as you can hide them from the kids.


  1. Yum! When I was a freshman in college, Troy and Richard let my roommates and me go and pick their extra plums and we made fruit leather out of them in our oven. It was so good.

  2. These are delicious. I don't add any sugar or honey, just dried fruit. If my apricots aren't very ripe I will use some fresh pineapple.