And now as winter sets in and makes herself comfortable, we're making plans to use up the last 20 or so crates we have left and to switch off the cool-room. Heritage varieties of apples are delicious in their season, but are not meant to last a long time.
So along with the stewing and juicing and eating fresh, we've been making apple leather. Constantly. And the girls have been eating it as quickly as we've been making it. It's totally delicious.
So I thought I'd share the simple recipe here just in case you wanted to make some too.
From what I've read, the rule is to add half a cup of water to the saucepan for every four cups of chopped fruit, but I just add a big glug here and there to make sure the mixture isn't too dry and isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Stir in the juice of half a lemon and some cinnamon if you feel like it. Have a taste and see if you need to add some more.
Simmer and stir. Simmer and stir, until the fruit is soft and mashable.
Using a food processor or a blender, mash the cooked fruit until it is completely smooth and lump free. Like baby food.
Lay a sheet of baking paper over your oven trays.
Spread apple mixture evenly over one oven tray at a time until the mixture is about half a centimeter deep.
(This oven method is wonderful for us because our wood cooker is on 24/7, but a food dehydrator will work just as well.)
Keep the fruit leather trays in the oven for as long as it takes to completely dry out. We've found it best to leave the trays in the oven overnight as the process takes about eight to ten hours.
The apple leather is ready when it is no longer sticky or wet, but dry and leather-like.
We like to store the rolled up apple leathers in a glass, sealed container. To be honest, I have no idea how long it will keep as our girls eat it almost as quickly as we can make it.
What I do know is how great it feels to feed our family something we have made from the freshest, organic fruit, with no sugar and only two ingredients. No nasties, no numbers.
And there have been reports that even the kids who only eat junk food in their school lunches love it too, so it must be a winner. Yay!
OK, off you go, if you get some in the oven now, it'll be ready for their school lunches tomorrow.
I'm off to peel this lot.
See ya later - apple dehydrater!!
Let me know how you go, OK.