what to do with all of those pretty red jalapenos from the garden – hot red pepper jelly

It has been both a quiet and frantic week around my house. With the dark arriving early and staying later in the mornings and school and hockey starting, we are all adjusting to new routines and entering seasonal slow-down. Nights are quieter when we are actually at home (though possibly a little more frenzy would be helpful to get things done). The small squeaky kid is now practicing with a league hockey team (as is the tall kid) as well as her Initiation Program group, so that has meant 3 days of hockey every week for us. Add in caring for the animals at night, practicing piano and homework, and we have a new busy-ness to get used to.

I had a few people ask about the recipe for the pepper jelly, so here is my version. I have lots of jalapenos turning red in the garden, so I thought I’d give this a try this year. My grandma used to make this jelly and I always loved it. I used this recipe, but made a few of my own adjustments. I didn’t use as much pepper as the original recipe called for – I wanted mine to be more jelly-like, the original called for so much pepper that it would have been more of a jam. You can judge the heat of the jalapenos and use the amount that suits your level of heat. Last year I would have used all 6 peppers that are called for in the recipe – this year I used 3 because they are much hotter. You can also use green jalapenos, I just used red to keep everything pretty and red.

The resulting jelly is really nice on crackers with some cream cheese or brie – we’ve been enjoying it at work this week. I am also looking forward to trying it on a grilled cheese made with aged cheddar and as a stir fry sauce with veggies and chicken or pork.

 Hot Red Pepper Jelly (makes 6 half pint jars)

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded, finely minced (~ 1 cup)
  • 3-6 red jalapeño peppers, seeded finely minced (depending on heat of peppers)
  • 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 6-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 pouch fruit pectin (I use Certo powdered pectin)

Wash and sterilize your jars and lids. I do mine in the dishwasher on the extra heat setting and don’t start the jelly making process until it has hit the drying stage – that way I know the jars and lids will be hot when I need them.

Have a canning pot ready at a boil to process the jars after they are filled. The water should be deep enough to cover the jars by at least an inch. You can use a canning rack or just a towel on the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from rattling.

Throw the seeded red peppers and jalapenos into a food processor or finely mince by hand. Use gloves to seed the jalapenos so you don’t get oil on your hands or it will burn. If you are using the food processor, open a window – you’ll thank me later. Breathing in the oil hurts, too.

I drain off the extra juice from the food processor before I put the peppers into to sauce pan. The extra juice could inhibit the gelling process. Put the minced pepper in a sauce pot and add vinegar and butter. Stir in sugar and bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. I let it boil for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. This part is kind of tricky. If it still looks runny at this stage, let it boil a titch longer until it starts to thicken. You don’t want it completely thickened at this point though – it really starts to gel as it cools after processing.

Ladle immediately into the sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Wipe the jar rims and threads and add the lids, screw bands on finger tight but not over tight. Place jars in canner (use tongs) and boil for 10 min. Remove the jars and place upright on towel or rack to cool completely. You should be able to hear the lids pinging as they seal. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If any lids don’t seal, you can either refrigerate that jar or open, re-seal and reprocess it for 10 minutes.

And this is for my husband – do NOT be tempted to jiggle the jars to see if they are setting. They need to sit still in order to gel. Leave them alone for at least 24 hours. If they don’t set up, there are instructions here to redo the recipe – or you can use it as a glaze on meats, vegetables and stirfry.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Gastronomical Sovereignty, GNOWFGLINS

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36 thoughts on “what to do with all of those pretty red jalapenos from the garden – hot red pepper jelly

  1. I wish I liked hot peppers, but I just don’t care for any thing hot or very spicy, no Cajun foods for me as a result. Enjoy your jelly and I hope you get some slow time coming your way soon.

  2. Somer says:

    I’m so glad you posted this recipe! I think I’ve just found my substitute for sweet chili sauce! It has always been too runny for my liking and this is far more natural, I’ll just need to add in some garlic!

  3. husbands are curious like that, aren’t they – mine always takes the lid off the rice which I guess we should not be eating anymore because of the cyanide
    I love red pepper jelly – send me a jar for Christmas ’cause heaven forbid I do anything like this for myself!

  4. strivingforsimple says:

    Sounds delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe and method!

  5. megan12ca says:

    We are so in sync. Every time I think of a recipe I want to make it appears on your blog. Must be that geographical proximity.

  6. Your jelly looks wonderful Heidi (Husband must have resisted jiggling those jars). Lovely jewell colour. Sure it tastes good too.

  7. Lauren says:

    Perfect timing! I was just pondering this question.

  8. Sarah says:

    Mmmmmm, yummmmmmy. I just love red pepper jelly! I like it when it’s a little more jelly-like too, so I love this recipe. Thank you so much Heidi. I hope you guys have a great weekend!

  9. emmycooks says:

    This is the EXACT blog post title that I needed to see today! Of course, hot pepper jelly! Will do tomorrow. Thank you! :)

  10. Tammy says:

    This is my go-to appetizer when I’m in a hurry. I just dump a jar on a brick of cream cheese and serve with crackers.

  11. You’re very creative, and really enjoy life. It’s a joy to read your posts, thank you and keep it up. :)

  12. Hey LC! I made some this weekend – so so so so SO delicious. You continually inspire me to try new things and I’m so glad I found your blog! I used the towel at the bottom of a pan for the first time to. These little tricks that are probably old news to most in this arena are new news to me. There’s so much I don’t know to know, you know?

  13. Alicia says:

    I love to cook a jar of pepper jelly with a bag of cranberries for a spicy, super tasty cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving!

  14. holy moly! i love this! i can just imagine it on a cheese spread. divine. great way to preserve your harvest and make something unique.

    thanks for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link-up! I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & whole/real food posts! xo, kristy.

  15. Melinda says:

    I love pepper jelly I just made a batch with all red jalapenos. I think I will make some with green jalapenos and give them for Christmas gifts maybe add jar of salsa and a jar of Verde sauce to keep the red and green theme going. I will have to try it with the cranberries that sounds delicious.
    I love your blog I found you through Frugally Sustainable.

  16. mjskit says:

    I would love to have some red jalapenos in the garden! They certainly make a beautiful jar of jam! Love your jam and love the recipe!

  17. Firefly Mom says:

    Perfect timing! Looking up pepper jelly recipes was on my to-do list. Can’t wait to try it!

  18. [...] tomato and want to do something with it. We’ve also made fermented jalapeno hot sauce, hot pepper jelly, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions that we put in the [...]

  19. [...] 1. Hot Red Pepper Jelly by Lightly Crunchy.  ”I had a few people ask about the recipe for the pepper jelly, so here is my version.” [...]

  20. Kaye Tench says:

    Yummy stuff! I also add some deep green very fine shreds of lime – gives a lovely flavour and look so pretty too.

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