Hot in her (apple) leather

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I first read about apple leather on the Fox’s Lane blog a while ago (Northern vs Southern Hemisphere) and I just thought I have to try that. We have a very fruity apple tree but the apples get a bit spotty and aren’t all that appealing. Once peeled they are grand and we larrup them into crumbles with blackberries from the bottom-of-the-garden wilderness. We slosh them stewed onto delicious Irish pork chops and joints. We stir them semi-stewed into yoghurt. The apple leather has proven to be another hit and if I had an Aga or Stanley range I would make fruit leather 2 weekly. Apparently you can make it with any fruit that stews or purées to a thick consistency. As things stand it’s a bit of an indulgence that takes up the oven for a large chunk of time. The resulting leather is perfect for lunchboxes in a school where no sugar is allowed.

What you need:

  • Apples – the sweeter the better, it’ll save having to add honey or sugar
  • A large tray
  • Silicone baking paper (I’ve bought this in Lidl)
  • A day/ evening in
  1. Preheat oven to 75C/ 170F
  2. Line a large oven tray with your silicone paper. One recipe I read suggested using cling film as the oven doesn’t get that hot but I baulked at that idea. If you have a silicone mat now is it’s time to shine!
  3. Stew your apples with a few tablespoons of water or juice of a lemon
  4. Sugar or honey can be added to taste at this point. You could also add a spoonful of cinnamon
  5. Either transfer cooled apples to your blender or use your handheld blender to get a really smooth sauce.
  6. Spread the apple sauce as evenly as possible over the tray trying to avoid thinning edges as these will dehydrate too fast.
  7. Stick it in the oven for 6 – 8 hours. I switched mine off and went to bed and took it out the next day while we used the grill so it’s not a fussy process. You are drying it out, not baking it.
  8. When it is done it will no longer dent if you stick your finger in the middle.
  9. Peel silicone paper off and, using a scissors or sharp, cut into strips or any agape you like.
  10. Enjoy!

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