I have been seeing and pinning links to recipes for homemade fruit snacks on Pinterest for a while now. Classes finished last week so I finally have time to experiment with them!
Combing through the recipes I noticed some glaring issues. They called for juice. Which I didn’t have, and I think defeats the purpose of homemade fruit . I want a healthier fruit snack, with less sugar and without food coloring and preservatives. Al the recipes I found where also really small batches. If I can imagine eating the whole batch in one setting, it’s too small! Then the gelatine to fruit/juice ratios seemed a little wonky and considering they used about half liquids, half fruit when I wanted to use mostly fruit, they probably wouldn’t turn out right anyway. So, working from the best looking (based off the comments) recipe I designed this homemade blueberry fruit snack recipe.
Blueberry fruit snacks
16 (7.29 gram size) gelatin packets (that’s what I used) you can also find Gelatin that’s not in packets or even from grass fed cows
5 cups of blueberries
1 15oz can unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup blueberry jam
3 heaping tbs brown sugar
½ cup water or juice
coconut oil for greasing
filled a inch high 9 ½ x13 inch baking sheet
Bring apple sauce, berries, jam and water to a boil. Once the berries get that “ready to burst” look I strained them out with a slotted spoon and pureed them in the food processor until just smooth. Then I added the sugar and the pureed berries back in.
Let the berry mixture come back up to a boil. Have your gelatine all in a bowl so you can just sprinkle it in as you go. Then slowly, gradually whisk in the gelatine, make sure it’s really well mixed in or you get weird, super chewing spots in the fruit snacks Keep the heat on and keep mixing until it’s all dissolved then pour the mix into greased (I used coconut oil) pans or molds. I let it set up for two hours on the counter, then quartered and refrigerated the chunks. Wait until the next day to cut the chunks into bite size pieces. I think you could use cookie cutters for fun shapes or just pour the fruit snacks into some nifty silicone molds and make all kinds of adorable shapes.
A few notes:
Sweeten to taste.
I was happy with how sweet they were but if you are switching kiddos from store bought to homemade, these will most likely need to be sweeter.
I let the gel set up two hours on the counter and then cut the sheet into quarters and refrigerated over night. The change in texture from their night in the fridge was huge! After the two hour setting up they still had a pretty spongy texture and were just tacky. The next morning when I-ahem- taste tested, they where nicely solid and dry.
I think they would turn out fine without the jam, instead you can replace it with fruit. I had a jar that was at that almost gone stage when no one wants to eat it but I still hate to waste homemade jar.
If you don’t have apple sauce:
Grate or puree apples to replace it. This might make the mix more watery. Just pay attention at the end to how thick it is after you add the gelatin. It should be pretty thick.
To test if its thick enough:
After adding the gelatin, put a spoon full of the mixture on a (preferably) metal cookie sheet. Stick it in the freezer for five minutes or however long your patience can endure. If it gelled up nicely, but is still soft, you’ve cooked it enough. If not, cook a little longer and try again.
Using different fruit will change the end product.
As will the ripeness and quality of the fruit. It might need more sugar or it might need cooked for a longer or shorter length of time. There might also be some fruits that have different enough natural pectin content to change the amount of gelatin needed. I plan to do a little research and try this recipe again with other fruits.
Be careful of over mixing/pureeing.
One of the most common complaints people had on the other recipes was that the fruit snacks turned out foamy or had a weird texture, which they mostly attributed to over whisking or over processing. By just barely processing the fruit, like I did, I think you can prevent most that foam from developing. On the flip side however, make sure you add the gelatin SLOWLY, whisk it THOROUGHLY, and leave it on the heat long enough to COMPLETELY MELT. Otherwise you will end up with some weird, extremely chewy unflavored areas- those pieces were pretty gross… thankfully, I only had a few.
These stay good for about two weeks in the fridge.