Thursday, September 12, 2013

Maple-Sweetened Apple Fruit Leather #DessertChallenge

Strangely enough, I hated candy as a child. Chocolate, cakes, cookies... let me at 'em. But gummi anything, jelly beans, suckers, taffy, hard drops... I'd pass. The only exceptions I'd make were for honey-filled candy made by one of my mom's co-workers (who ran an apiary as a hobby!) and mellowcremes at Halloween. The texture and one-note sweetness of most candy available back then was boring, and if I was going to blow my allowance money (this was before calorie budgets became known to my young mind), it was going to be on a creamy, rich piece of chocolate.
Apple-Maple-Cinnamon Fruit Leather
I still don't love commercial candy (artisan or homemade caramels are delicious though), but I do love fruit roll-ups. Real fruit roll-ups, though, made of dehydrated fruit puree, maybe a spice or two and a drizzle of sweetening... nothing else. This version is probably the simplest of my batches this year, needing only apples, cinnamon, maple syrup and a pinch of smoked (or regular) salt. Homemade fruit roll-ups are a delicious, easy portable snack for everyone's lunchbox, and are doubly easy if you have a dehydrator and an offset palette knife. Of course, if you don't have a dehydrator and aren't in the market (granted, mine cost me $10 on Kijiji) a low oven is a viable substitute! I've given both sets of directions below so everyone can play with Nature's candy, adding a healthy, sweet treat to your family's routine.

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

Maple-Sweetened Apple Fruit Leather
Makes 1 cookie sheet, 10 rolls
8 medium apples (any kind, I used Wealthy and MacIntosh), peels left on, chopped roughly
3 tbsp maple syrup (I use Grade B for all my cooking (and most of my eating), since I like it's stronger flavour)
1 tbsp cinnamon
pinch smoked (or fine sea) salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Toss apples and maple syrup in a large casserole dish.
  3. Cover and roast for 2 hours, until apples are extremely soft.
  4. Allow to cool slightly, then add apples and any liquid to a food processor and puree completely, making sure peels are finely ground (alternatively you can run this through a food mill).
  5. Stir in cinnamon and salt and scrape back into the casserole dish.
  6. Re-cover and bake another hour, then remove the lid and bake a further 30-40 minutes, until very thick.
  7. Spread on parchment-lined dehydrator trays to about ⅛” thick and dehydrate for 6-8 hours, until pliable and slightly tacky. Turn off the dehydrator and let trays cool completely before moving*.
  8. Cut into strips and roll up. Keeps in an airtight container for 1-2 months.

*Alternatively, spread mixture on rimmed cookie sheets lined with parchment and dry at 170F for 2-2 ½ hours, until just slightly tacky. Cool in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool to room temperature

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 74.9
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.7 mg
Total Carbs: 19.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 0.3 g

5 comments :

Emily Dicks said...

I love that you made a fruit leather! I can't wait to try this recipe

Shannon said...

I LOVE using my dehydrator. Thanks for the great recipe, can't wait to try it.

Marlene Baird said...

Apple fruit leather with cinnamon sounds delicious and you can't find that in a package.

Cindy Kerschner said...

Apple fruit leather sounds delicious.

Teri said...

Can't wait to try this! Sounds great!