Rather than buy expensive "fruit roll ups" with dubious ingredients (including artificial flavours, colours and preservatives), you can make your own. With one simple method, you can vary the flavour combinations to suit your family's tastes and make great use of the produce available to you.Fruit leather is easiest to make if you have a food dehydrator, but you donât need one. Try the oven method and if you think itâs something you will continue to do, then consider investing in a dehydrator. We love ours and use it for drying local chanterelle mushrooms and other fruits and veggies. (Department stores sell them for under $50 and you can find them online.) You can use them to dry slices or halves of other fruit and vegetables and to make jerky.You will need a food processor or blender, though - itâd be difficult to mash everything fine enough by hand.Iâll start with a recipe for partridgeberry-apple fruit leather to give you the basics and then Iâll suggest other combinations. Once youâve made a batch or two, youâll have the confidence to try your own combinations.Partridgeberry-Apple Fruit Leather(makes 3 trays of leather, 14-18 servings)In a food processor (or small batches in a blender), purÃ©e together:4 cups partridgeberries4 apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (we used Fuji apples)4 tbsp honey2 tbsp corn syrupDehydrator Method: Taste the purÃ©e. If it tastes good to you wet, youâll like it as leather. If too tart, add more honey or corn syrup. If too sweet, add more partridgeberries. If youâre using a dehydrator, line the trays with plastic wrap and spread the purÃ©e in a smooth 1/4-inch thick layer. Dehydrate overnight (or longer) until there are no wet or tacky spots and the leather feels dry but remains pliable. You donât want to go to the brittle stage. Once itâs dry on the top side, itâs likely still a little moist underneath. Best thing to do is pull the leather off the plastic and flip it over onto unlined trays. Continue dehydrating until no longer tacky.Oven Method: Heat oven to 130-140Â°F. Line non-aluminum baking trays with plastic wrap and spread as above. Prop the oven door open a half-inch or so with the handle of a wooden spoon to allow moisture to escape. Bake 6-8 hours or until there are no wet or tacky spots and the leather feels dry but remains pliable. When itâs time to peel off the plastic and flip the leather over, lay a couple of cake cooling racks on the tray and lay the leather on top to finish drying. Drying time for either method depends on the moisture content of the fruit used and how thickly the purÃ©e is spread - so donât worry if your leather is done sooner or takes longer. Youâll know itâs done when itâs dry and leathery, but still pliable. Tear or cut into serving-sized pieces (around 4 x 4 inches) and store in airtight containers. No need to refrigerate. To bring for lunch, simply wrap in a bit of parchment or plastic wrap.Other tasty fruit combinations to try:Blueberry-Banana: a half-and-half ratio. Add a little lemon juice to balance sweetness.Bakeapple-Mango: Half-and-half. Or add pineapple and do a third of each.Strawberry-Peach: Half-and-half. A little lime zest is a nice addition.Spiced Apple: Use maple syrup instead of honey and add a little cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.Raspberry-Pear: Two-thirds raspberries to one-third peeled pears.Cranberry or Rhubarb: If youâre going to try cranberry or rhubarb leather, you might want to cook the fruit to a thick jam consistency first, sweetening to taste, before dehydrating. Otherwise the texture wonât be as nice. - By Andrea MaunderAndrea Maunder, locovore, wine expert and pastry chef, is the owner and creative force behind Bacalao, a St. John's restaurant specializing in "nouvelle Newfoundland" cuisine. She writes a monthly column, "Everyday Gourmet," for Downhome.