Thursday, September 23, 2010

Apple Project #2 - Apple Fruit Leather

Many years back, as an over achieving pre-school mom, I made fruit leather for Max's class when they were studying Indians. I mean Native Americans. Max has repeatedly asked me to make it again over the years. I made it once or twice - or maybe just once. It takes a lot of apples to make a little bit of leather and it's seemed cost prohibitive. Considering that when left to their own devices a $3 box of organic fruit leather is gone in, ohhhh, 5 minutes.

"Oh, but it's so much more healthy than fruit roll-ups." That's not comforting when you know the transaction hasn't cleared with the bank and the empty box sits on the counter. (why put it in the recycling?)

My recent apple windfall put me in a position to make apple fruit leather for Max. It's super easy, really tasty, comes together in no time and dries as you sleep.

To fill a half sheet pan, I peeled and chopped apples to equal about 8 cups. I cooked them over medium low heat with a bit of apple juice to prevent sticking. Remember the objective is to reduce the water content so don't add to much additional liquid. Once soft they got into the blender.

Blend into a nice smooth puree that looks like baby food.

For the first batch I added 1 T. sugar, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. For the second batch I have ready to go into the oven I tried agave nectar and The Spice House pumpkin pie spice.

You can simply line your sheet pan with saran wrap. Try not to have too much extra around the edges and avoid letting it touch the oven racks. I used my silpat mat but since I was concerned about it seeping underneath the mat, I lined the edges with plastic wrap. I found that's not necessary so if you have a silpat that's the way to go. It seems weird to cook on plastic so I might suggest trying parchment paper cut to fit the pan instead. Spread the puree into a smooth even layer.

Into the oven at 150 degrees, right before I hopped into bed. Let it cook overnight and in the morning...


A patient and happy boy!

I chose to jelly roll the leather with saran wrap (again parchment is perhaps a better choice) and cut it in to pieces as above.

Then I hid them so I could dole them out s-l-o-w-l-y.

I wanted to enjoy my efforts for longer than 5 minutes.

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