Fruit leather - you can make shoes from it!
3rd Oct 2021
The bounty of apples is upon us. Early types ripened in late summer/September, and now it's time to get picking others that have deepened to a beautiful red flush with crisp, sweet flesh underneath. Okay there might be the odd wiggler in there if you're all organic, but that's real life!
Since even a single mature tree can offer more than you need, home apple growers have several options for dealing with the glut: let the local wildlife have them, give them away to other folks, store them (if they keep), or get preserving. On that note, we started looking up recipes for something called 'apple leather' that somebody mentioned last autumn. It's like fruit jerky, or those fruit-based chewy sweets that children love.
But did you know that there's another type of fruit leather? We might be a bit out-of-touch as apparently it was the sustainable material of the moment a couple of years back. So you didn't hear it first here, admittedly, but we're pretty impressed to find out that pulped cores and skins (pomace) from large-scale production can be dried out, combined with polyurethane and turned into a vegan material for shoes, handbags, clothes, accessories... you name it. There are some tasty pieces out there in the world of sustainable fashion, it seems (excuse the pun).
We wonder if it smells fruity.
And here's how to make edible apple leather:
Preheat your oven on a very low setting.
Peel, core and chop a kilo of apples. Cook in a saucepan over a low-moderate heat with 200g sugar and 4 tbsps lemon juice. You want a puree texture, so stop when the flesh has nicely broken down and whizz up in a blender or with a stick blender. You can cook a little further to drive out more moisture.
Line a large baking tray, e.g. with baking paper or a silicon sheet. Spread your puree evenly on this and set on the top rack of the oven.
Bake until fruit is dry and stops feeling tacky, but stop before it gets brittle. This could take a few hours, depending on your oven. You can also dry it out in warm sunshine (if we have one of those autumn heatwaves!) or in a dehydrator.
Allow to cool before peeling off. Roll it up, cut into sections and store in an airtight container.
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