A taste of Autumn

This is what happens when you have too many fresh apples on hand and you cannot store them by canning and you've already got more than enough dried as chips. Unusual fruit leather combinations.
Today's experiment?
Vanilla Chai (decaf) with molasses and apples.
This idea came to me simply because we're running low on apple cider which I use in the crockpot as the apples are cooking down.  We add a bit of liquid here and there to make sure the apples or mixed fruit don't burn or stick too much.
Suddenly the thought hit me.  How would a chai flavor mix with apples?  The way I figured it was if it didn't turn out delicious, well then Edward and I would probably be eating the finished product or we'd just throw it away.  It doesn't take too many apples to make a basic fruit leather so its not an absolute waste.
The real positive to this is it uses very little ingredients.

  • Apples
  • Stash Vanilla Chai (decaf)
  • Molasses

I used two bags of the Stash tea in about two cups of water. After the tea had steeped for about an hour I added a little at a time to the apples cooking down in the crock pot.  I always make sure to add warmer liquids to the hot crock pot so I can avoid breaking it.
As for the molasses, I always do this to taste.  Our family is used to not as much sugar in our foods so we use honey, molasses or maple syrup conservatively.  The apples are usually pretty sweet by themselves anyways.
Also keep in mind what I've said previously, take care when adding sweeteners to your apples when they're cooking down.  The flavors will intensify later when its in the dehydrator.
Once the mixture cooks down to almost a baby food like consistency I use my immersion blender to make it all smooth.
Then it goes on a Paraflexx sheet in our Excalibur dehydrator for about 24 hours, give or take.
What comes out is your not so average fruit roll up, albeit a healthier version.

As of right this moment, the apple chai fruit leather is in the dehydrator.  The preliminary taste tests are....well...amazing really.

Apples and chai seem like they are very well suited for one another.  The flavors mixing together remind me of crisp leaves falling to the ground, hot apple cider and geese calling out overhead as they prepare for their trip down south.  Autumn incarnate.
finished product

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