Spiced crab-apple and rowanberry leather recipe

  • A little tricky

This simple recipe for homemade spiced crab-apple and rowanberry leather makes an excellent hiking snack


Rowan Sorbus aucuparia

Although often found as a tree in gardens and cities, in the wild rowan prefers hilly places with a slightly acidic soil. Growing to 15-20m, the tree has leaves similar to those of roses and compact ball-like clusters of creamy flowers, followed by bright red berries in the autumn.

Crab Apples Malus sylvestris

The ‘ancestors’ of our cultivated apple varieties, crab apples, like rowan, are sometimes grown
as an ornamental tree in cities and gardens, but have no specific habitat elsewhere. Keep your eyes peeled as it’s often the little apples on the ground that tell you there’s a tree nearby. 



  • Crab apples 50g
  • Rowan berries 500g
  • Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg 1 tsp
  • Ground cardamon 1 tsp
  • Dark brown sugar 2 tbs


  • Step 1

    De-stalk the apples and chop them into quarters.

  • Step 2

    Wash and rinse the berries then add all the fruit to a heavy-bottomed pan.

  • Step 3

    Add a splash of apple juice or water, then cook the mixture over a gentle heat, while stirring.

  • Step 4

    Let the mixture cool, then mash it.

  • Step 5

    Push it through a fine-meshed sieve, remembering to scrape the mush from the underside.

  • Step 6

    Add the sugar and spices. Stir well.

  • Step 7

    If you have a dehydrator, spread the mixture out and dehydrate it on full power for at least six hours. Otherwise, pour the mixture into a shallow baking tray lined with silicon ‘parchment’ cut to size, and cook it in a very low oven for up to 12 hours.

  • Step 8

    Cut into strips, roll them up and store them in an air-tight jar.