Makes:6 to 8 servings
Texture and flavor vary greatly among apple varieties, so we decided to use applesauce as a shortcut in this DIY fruit leather recipe. It delivers more consistent flavor and cuts out having to cook and purée the apples yourself. To get the fun, shockingly pink color, no fake dyes are necessary—we just added raspberries, which also give the fruit leather a nice tartness.
Heat the oven to 170°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and place on a flat work surface; set aside.
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl; set aside.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until you’ve got a very smooth purée, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the bowl, and then scrape a rubber spatula against the inside surface of the strainer to push the purée through until only seeds remain. Remove the strainer and discard the seeds. Transfer the purée to a container with a spout or return it to the cleaned and dried blender pitcher.
Slowly pour the purée onto the baking mat, tracing the inside of the colored border to create a rectangle. (If your baking mat has no border, leave a 1-inch border from the edge.)
Pour the remaining purée within the borders of the rectangle in a zigzag pattern (do not pour it all into the middle of the baking mat). Using the rubber spatula, push the purée to cover any empty parts within the rectangle (the surface will not be even).
Keeping the baking sheet on the work surface, grasp the edges of the sheet—pressing against the exposed border of the baking mat with your thumbs—and gently shake back and forth to even out the surface of the purée, rotating the baking sheet and shaking as necessary.
Place in the oven and bake until the surface of the fruit leather is slightly sticky to the touch but, when pressed in several different places, a finger does not leave an indentation, about 6 to 7 hours. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Set aside a 16-inch-long sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Starting at one short edge of the cooled fruit leather, pull it up from the baking mat and transfer it to the paper. Using clean kitchen scissors, cut through the fruit leather and paper to form desired-sized strips, shapes, or pieces and roll up, paper and all (to prevent sticking). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.