Apples - enough to make 1¾ pints of puree
2 oz runny honey
½ tsp rosewater
Some grated nutmeg
Preparation time: ½ hour
Cooking time: 8-12 hours
Use any old organic windfalls – they don’t have to be anything special as the drying process intensifies the flavour.
1. Chunk the apples, removing any bad bits but keeping the skins and cores on. Take a large pan, put ¼” of water in the bottom, then fill it with your apples. Cover, and put on a low heat to come slowly to a simmer-steam. Leave to cook for a good while, turning the apple about occasionally, till soft enough to sieve easily – some apples cook faster than others.
2. Sieve, and measure the resulting puree – the leavings can go on the compost heap, or to the hens.To 1¾ pts of puree add approx. 2ozs of organic runny honey, ½tsp rosewater and a good grating of nutmeg, and mix thoroughly.
3. Spread the puree barely ¼” thick on 4 large non-stick baking sheets, leaving a little free space at the edges. Place in the oven at maximum 70C, leaving the door slightly ajar. It will take at least a day to dry out all over. Change the sheets around for evenness of drying if needed.
4. Carefully free one edge of the dried puree, which is now dark and leather-like, and peel off. Roll up and store in an airtight container. It keeps very well in a cool dry place – the leather I entered in the show was made in late September 2011.