I recently saw a recipe for some homemade fruit rollups made in a dehydrator, and as we still don’t have one I have modified it slightly to work in the oven. Please note that this was made in a convection oven, so you will need to monitor it more closely in a regular oven to prevent the edges from burning as it will cook unevenly. Also, you can modify this recipe to use any fruit you choose, however you may need to add some juice to the mixture to make it more liquified if it is thick.
What you will need:
- Organic grapes, or a fruit of your choice as well as juice if needed. We didn’t need added juice for the grapes as there was plenty from the fruit itself.
- A high powered blender or smoothie machine
- A cookie sheet with tapered edges to prevent spillage.
- Parchment paper
- Scissors or cooking shears
Preheat your oven to 170. Please note that I wouldn’t advise pursuing this recipe if the lowest setting on your oven is 200 as it will burn and cook too quickly on the edges. I picked this temperature because the standard setting on a dehydrator is between 140-180.
Fill the blender about halfway with grapes (or your favorite juice/fruit mixture). Blend on high speed, mixing or plunging if needed, until it has reached the consistency of a thin fruit smoothie with a little bit of pulp. The pulp is good as it helps keep it all together once it has cooked, and also adds texture and chewiness to the final product.
Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Do NOT use wax paper, as it will stick. You need actual parchment paper, or you can opt out entirely and just grease the cookie sheet, however I prefer using the paper as it lines the back of the strips for storage once they are done, just like store-bought fruit rollups.
Pour the “smoothie” evenly onto the cookie sheet/parchment paper, being careful to avoid spillage. Spread it evenly all the way to the edges of the cookie sheet. If you filled your standard sized blender only halfway, the mixture will be coating the standard sized cookie sheet in fairly thick layer, but this is a good thing as most of the moisture will evaporate, leaving only a thin strip of fruit jerky behind.
Place the cookie sheet in the middle rack of your oven and cook it until it is mostly dried. You still want it to feel a bit “sticky” as it comes out of the oven, as it will harden a bit as it cools. This will leave you with a nice, chewy fruit rollup as opposed to a crunchy one. If you are unsure if it is done or not, take it out for about 10 minutes to allow cooling and recheck it. It’s always better to undercook and be able to put it back in than it is to burn it and have a crunchy mess. My oven took about 5 hours to dry it thoroughly, however as each oven is different, your times may vary. I’ve heard of ovens set on 170 that can cook it in as little as 2 hours, so pay close attention and check it often.
Tip: The edges of the mixture will always cook faster than the middle, even in a convection oven. I suggest monitoring closely. Also, once the mixture was dry enough that I could safely cut it without it spilling everywhere, I cut it in half and rotated it so that the middle was now on the outside edges. I would suggest doing this as well as rotating it often in the oven to ensure even cooking.
After many hours of waiting, you now have homemade fruit rollups! They will look a little thin, and you may be able to “see through” a few spots, but that is ok. The juice in the fruit should have coated the bottom enough to cook and make a “film” over the bottom, allowing it all to stay together in one whole piece when you peel it off.
Cut your roll-ups in to strips or squares, whichever you prefer. I like to cut it along with the parchment paper to give it something to line the back. It should easily peel off the parchment paper if completely cooked (and not overcooked) without falling into pieces or breaking apart.
These were a big hit with the family, and siblings actually took some home in baggies for themselves. Although be advised, if you don’t like tart then the grape probably isn’t for you. I am actually going to try it next time around with strawberries instead to try to get a sweeter/less tart result. Also be aware that as these are basically being dehydrated, the final taste will come out much stronger and very concentrated compared to the original fruit. These strips pack a punch of flavor!
Enjoy! Let me know how yours turned out!