This spicy fruit leather is made from the leftover pulp from making hot pepper jelly. Get two foods out of a single afternoon, and enjoy adding more variety to your autumn food preservation. This spicy fruit leather is perfect for anyone who enjoys sweet and spicy foods.
Start off with the pulp leftovers from making this Hot Pepper Jelly. That’s the pulp leftovers of about 16 pounds of crab apples and 1 pound of hot peppers. The pulp has most of the juice removed from it, so it is quite dry and will turn into fruit leather quicker than pure applesauce. You can make this fruit leather in your dehydrator, or in your oven, depending on which one you have available.
Yield: 48 2-inch x 6-inch pieces of Fruit Leather
Take the leftover pulp from making the hot pepper jelly and turn it into Cowboy Candy Spicy Fruit Leather. With just two simple steps.
Cowboy Candy is a combination of jalapeños, vinegar, and sugar. The crabapple sauce is naturally tart-sweet so there is no need to add vinegar. The apple sauce will sweeten as it dries. Of course, you can add 2 tablespoons of organic sugar per cup of sauce, if you prefer. We like to make our batch sugarless. The flavor will be stronger and the heat level will be more intense when the fruit leather is dried, so keep that in mind when you are adjusting for sweetness.
You’ll need a food mill and a dehydrator to make Cowboy Candy Fruit Leather.Print
A spicy and slightly sweet fruit leather made from the extra pulp from Hot Pepper Jelly.
- Pulp remains from 1 batch Hot Pepper Jelly
- Sugar to taste
- Put the residual pulp through the applesauce mill a few cups at a time.
- If the pulp is too dry to run through the mill easily, add a small amount of apple juice. This is only if the pulp is too dry and starts gumming up the mill. It will be drier than standard freshly milled applesauce.
- Once you’ve milled the pulp, give it a taste. If you find the jalapeno apple sauce too sour you can add sugar at this point in the recipe. The max amount is about 1/2 cup per liter, unless your apples were very tart.
- Next prepare for dehydrating. Line the trays of your dehydrator for fruit leather. I used parchment paper to line my dehydrator trays. You can also use cling wrap, or specially designed fruit leather trays.
- Place about 2 cups of the sieved pulp on each rectangular dehydrator tray. Spread it evenly with a spatula. Smooth out any rough areas, and make the outside edges slightly thicker than the middle.
- Dry at 125F in your dehydrator for 6-8 hours, or until the leather is flexible and no longer sticks or is sticky.
How to use a food mill to make fruit leather
Put the leftover pulp through your food mill. If you’ve never used a food mill before, here’s how it works. You pour the pulp, which includes the seeds and skins into the hopper and turn the handle of the food mill. The seeds and skin spit out the side and the sauce is squeezed through tiny holes. It comes out evenly smooth and pours into an awaiting bowl. I chose one a glass pan for this step, one that fits perfectly under the spout, catching every delicious drop.
- Once you’ve milled the pulp, give it a taste. If you find the jalapeno apple sauce too sour you can add sugar at this point in the recipe.
- If the pulp is too dry to run through the mill easily, add a small amount of apple juice. This is only if the pulp is too dry and starts gumming up the mill.
- Next prepare for dehydrating. Line the trays of your dehydrator for fruit leather. I used parchment paper to line my dehydrator trays.
- Place about 2 cups of the sieved pulp on each rectangular dehydrator tray. Spread it evenly with a spatula.
This amount of apple-pepper jelly (aka Cowboy Candy) makes 4 rectangular trays of Cowboy Candy Fruit Leather. If you have a smaller dehydrator, you may use less pulp or require more trays.
The pureed sauce is thicker and denser because most of the liquid was filtered out when the Hot Pepper Jelly was made. So it will dry fast. You will need to take extra care in spreading out the pulp to dry, due to this dryness. It is easy to get thick spots.
Plan to rotate the trays after 4 hours, and check them again about 4 hours after that. Start with the temperature at 125 degrees and turn down the thermostat after the first 4 hours if they seem to be drying too quickly. Fruit leather should be dry but pliable when it is finished. See also, How to Make Crabapple Fruit Leather and Pear Fruit Leather with Adaptogens.
The flavor is tart-sweet and reminiscent of Picante.
When the tray is completely dry, (you’ll know that when the leather does not stick to the parchment) peel the parchment paper from the back of the fruit leather. Using sharp scissors, cut each sheet of fruit leather into 12 serving size pieces. Each piece will be 2 inches wide and approximately 6 inches long.
Remember, these are spicy! Drying them really turns up the heat. Cowboy Candy Fruit Leather makes the perfect gift for the hot sauce lover in your life.
How did your cowboy candy spicy fruit leather turn out? What other types of fruit leather do you enjoy making and eating?
Leave a comment, I enjoy hearing from you.