I had this grand idea.
The idea was to take the 5lbs of apples I’d purchased at the Big Stone Lake Farmers Market last week (even though I still had a couple of pounds left from the previous week–hey, it’s apple season!) and turn them into something my son could not resist.
I’m not even sure why I thought that was necessary, given that just about the only thing he ate last time he was here was apples. He just kept grabbing another Zestar from the sack and chowing it down. He even likes the skins.
But I figured it’d be hard to eat all the apples I’ve been buying (in addition to the ones I plan on buying) fresh. And he doesn’t like apple sauce. Or pie, other than the pumpkin variety.
The recipe for fruit leather in the dehydrator cookbook (that’s Excalibur’s Preserve It Naturally) says that you don’t need to peel or cook the ingredients–just purée, pour, spread out, and dry.
I thought the easiest way to do that would be to first shred the apples finely, then toss the grated bits in the blender and reduce them to a fine glop um, paste.
That seemed to be a pretty effective, though sloppy process. I added a capful of lemon juice to each blender-full of apple purée, plus a little cinnamon and some maple syrup for sweetness (these were pretty tart fruits).
I managed to get five trays of fruit-leather-fixin’s out of the five pounds of apples, with the purée spread out on the parchment thicker on the edges than in the middle, just like the recipe said.
With the dehydrator set at 135 degrees, I headed off to a morning round of meetings, visions of homemade fruit leather and sonny-boy smiles dancing in my head.
When I got back, the house smelled fantastic–the apple-spiced Welcome Home! aroma that real estate agents sometimes use to entice buyers.
But the situation in the dehydrator was not pretty.
It was more like a grainy, fibrous apple mash than anything approximating the stuff you roll up and serve to the kiddos. I’m pretty sure there’s no way on earth my boy would put that in his mouth.
But all is not lost!
It just so happens I was down at the Granary this morning getting bulk ingredients for making granola: rolled barley, wheat, rye, and quinoa flakes, coconut and raisins.
Combined and baked with oatmeal, canola oil, brown sugar, and apple glops™, I will have something really unique, if not utterly delicious.
Lessons learned: Cook and strain your apples before trying to make your fruit leather purée. Or maybe use a Vita-Mix.
Or maybe don’t share your lessons learned until you’ve actually made a batch that your child will recognize as food.