“It smelled so good while cooking. It's amazing how it changed colors." —Selah, recipe tester, age 10
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Use pencil and ruler to draw 14‑by-11‑inch rectangle on large sheet of parchment paper. Flip parchment and place on rimless baking sheet. Spray parchment evenly with vegetable oil spray.
Place berries in blender jar followed by apples. Place lid on top of blender and hold lid firmly in place with folded dish towel. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until fruit is finely chopped, about ten 1-second pulses, scraping down sides of blender jar with rubber spatula a few times.
Add sugar and replace lid. Process until very smooth, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of blender jar with rubber spatula halfway through processing.
Place fine-mesh strainer over large saucepan. Pour berry mixture through strainer into saucepan. Use back of ladle to stir and press on mixture to get out as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer.
Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, whisking often and lowering heat if mixture begins to splatter, until mixture is thickened, about 30 minutes.
Ask an adult to help pour mixture into 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Mixture should measure 2 cups. If it is more than 2 cups, return mixture to saucepan and continue to cook over medium-low heat until mixture measures 2 cups.
Carefully pour berry mixture onto center of parchment-lined baking sheet (ask an adult for help) and spread into smooth, even layer following photos, below.
Place baking sheet in oven and bake until mixture is set, 4 to 5 hours. To check for doneness, use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack (ask an adult for help). Gently touch center of fruit leather—it should feel dry but slightly tacky to touch, and fruit leather should peel away from parchment cleanly. (If it’s still too wet, use oven mitts to transfer baking sheet back to oven and continue baking.)
Let fruit leather cool completely, about 30 minutes. Use scissors to cut fruit leather (along with parchment backing) crosswise into twelve 1‑inch-wide strips (trimming away any dry edges as needed). Roll up fruit leather strips. Serve. (Fruit leather can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)
Strawberry Fruit Leather
Use 4 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped, instead of mixed berries.
Raspberry Fruit Leather
Use 4 cups raspberries instead of mixed berries.
The hull is the leafy green part of the strawberry. Use a knife to remove it as well as some of the whiteish berry right underneath the leaves (this part of the berry can be tough).
Have you ever eaten Fruit Roll-Ups? These chewy, fruity treats are produced by General Mills and have been in supermarkets since 1983. That’s a long time. But rolled fruit snacks have actually been around far longer. More than a hundred years ago in New York City, a Syrian immigrant imported apricot paste and turned it into a fruit leather called amardeen. It came in large sheets, so when a customer wanted to buy some, they simply cut off a long piece and handed it to them.