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
- Preheat oven to 75C/ 170F
- 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!
- Stew your apples with a few tablespoons of water or juice of a lemon
- Sugar or honey can be added to taste at this point. You could also add a spoonful of cinnamon
- Either transfer cooled apples to your blender or use your handheld blender to get a really smooth sauce.
- Spread the apple sauce as evenly as possible over the tray trying to avoid thinning edges as these will dehydrate too fast.
- 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.
- When it is done it will no longer dent if you stick your finger in the middle.
- Peel silicone paper off and, using a scissors or sharp, cut into strips or any agape you like.