Monday, August 31, 2009

Recipe: Hot Pepper Jelly

Last night, I made a small batch of blackberry jelly with the last of the harvest. Half a pint of blackberries, plus almost a cup of sugar, plus a little splash of water was enough, after a 10 minute boil to make it gel when it cooled without using any pectin. I got about a teacup's worth of jelly after running it through a fine strainer. Dee-lish on Sally Lunn or rye bread.

We have lots of peppers growing in our vegetable garden -- cayennes and sweet banana peppers -- so today I decided to try my hand at making hot pepper jelly. It worked out just fine.

Yield: 3 cups
Time: 10 minutes cooking; 10 minutes to can

  • 1/8 cup of finely minced fresh hot peppers (I used cayenne, but jalapeno or serrano would work as well)
  • 3/8 cup of finely minced fresh sweet pepper (I used banana, but bell is fine, too)
  • 3/4 cup of white or cider vinegar
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 packet (1.75 oz.) of pectin
  • 1-2 drops of green food coloring
  1. sterilize your mason jars, and have at the ready ring tops (used or new) and unused lids
  2. mix all the ingredients in a pot and bring them to a boil
  3. whisk in the pectin and food coloring, let it go for another minute or so, then turn off the heat
  4. pour into your mason jars, place the lids on, and screw down the ring tops fairly loosely
  5. boil the jars, submerged, for 8-10 minutes, and remove them to cool (when the lids "pop," screw the ring tops down tightly)
Notes: The food coloring really is optional, and you could use red if you prefer. It's just that without it, it sort of looks like bits of pepper in light corn syrup. I used a mix of both red and green cayennes and yellow and orange banana peppers, simply because that's what I happened to have on hand. The minced pepper tends to float in the jars, so you may want to flip the mason jars upside down, then right side up, every 15 minutes or so as the jelly cools, just to get them distributed a bit better throughout the jars.

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