I have been blessed to find new neighbors who own apple trees this year! Though I am somewhat sheepish to go up to a random person’s house, knock on their door, and ask if they use their apples, I do it anyhow. Both times I’ve done this, the people have responded kindly, and say they only eat a few of their apples and would be happy to let me pick them in exchange for me giving them some of the preserves/baked goods I make. One family even dropped off another huge bag of apples at my doorstep after I gifted them with a basket full of apple jelly, apple butter, applesauce, and apple bread. People can be so kind!
So, with all of these apples, I had to think hard about what to make. Among other things, I decided on apple fruit leather, since it’s a snack my two-year-old loves. Although I followed a number of steps including chopping the apples, cooking them, straining the puree, and then cooking the puree into fruit leather, I quickly realized that anyone can make this recipe with store-bought or homemade/canned applesauce – it’s so easy!
Check out Amanda’s post if you would like to make your own applesauce to use for this fruit leather. Once you have the apple sauce and sweetened/spiced it to taste, follow these easy steps: 1) line two cookie sheets with silicone mats, 2) Spread out the applesauce as evenly as possible about 1/8th of an inch thick. 3) Put your oven on the lowest setting (usually 170 degrees) and let the applesauce cook for roughly 10 hours. Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of the applesauce, so be sure to check the leather occasionally. Once the fruit leather is no longer wet, it is done! If certain sections cook faster than others, feel free to peel those off and leave what is still wet in the oven to cook longer.
I like to cut the fruit leather into strips and roll it up. Store it in an airtight container in a cool dark place, or it should last in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Enjoy!