I made my first homemade fruit leather ever. The recipe came from my Winter 2014 issue of Sweet Paul Magazine p. 45. Apples, lemon juice, and a small chunk of beet for red color. Store-bought fruit roll-ups? Check out this strawberry fruit roll-ups label. Where are the strawberries? And the deceiving color? It comes from red 40, yellow 5 & 6, and blue 1 dyes. As you can see in this blender container closeup of the partially combined mixture, a beet rapidly turns browned oxidized apple puree into a lovely rosy hue... a perfect alternative to synthetic dyes.
I would use a smaller chunk of beet next time. It's not that I tasted the beet. I didn't. I just think that a more vibrant red would be prettier. Maybe less beet would achieve that. What's up with the fruit leather's corrigated ridge pattern? I choose to line my dehydrator racks with natural parchment paper rather than using ParaFlexx sheets that have a PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene-Teflon) coating. The wetness of the puree caused the parchment to mold to the shape of the metal racks. Did the puree soak through the parchment paper? No, not at all. Was the fruit leather difficult to peel off post dehydrating? No, the parchment released easily from the fruit leather.
Red Apple Leather
2 lbs apples (about 5 medium apples)
1 lemon, juiced
1 red beet (golf ball sized)
1 tbsp maple sugar, optional (I used coconut sugar, but I will try honey next.)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
pinch of salt