Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hot Pepper Jelly

We are big fans of hot pepper jelly.  You know, the kind you spread out over cream cheese and eat on crackers, especially around the holidays.  We also like to use it marinade pork tenderloin, we put on our toast with butter and we also use it as a dipping sauce for pork steaks.

This year one of my goals is make some hot pepper jelly from the fresh peppers grown in my own home garden. 

My mom loves the stuff and I thought it would be good to do a trial run with some store bought peppers and give her a couple of jars for Mother's Day. 

This was my first attempt and it turned out pretty well!

To make this recipe you will need:
  • 4 twelve ounce or 6 eight ounce glass jelly jars
  • water bath canner (or just a tall chilli pot would work for such a small number of jars)
  • pectin (in the canning aisle), use 2 three ounce packs of the liquid or one pack of the powder
  • about 8 medium sized jalepenos about 1/3 cup when chopped
  • two sweet bell peppers (any color) about 2/3 cup when chopped
  • 2 and 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • food coloring (optional)
  • 6 cups of sugar
  • canning funnel

Begin by chopping up all of the peppers very finely using a blender or food chopper. 
At this time start your water bath or large pot on high heat so the water will be almost boiling by the time you are ready to put in your jelly jars.
Combine the peppers, 6 cups of sugar and apple cider vinegar in a large pot, stir constantly until a rolling boil.
Decrease the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain the mixture out into a colander. 
Save about two tablespoonsful of the peppers to add back to the mixture, discard the rest.
Bring mixture to a boil, add pectin and food coloring and boil for 1 minute.
I used just a few drops of red food coloring, but you can also use green, or any color you want for that matter!
Funnel into the jelly jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headroom.
Put the lids on the jars "fingertip tight".
Place in the boiling water bath.  Boil for 10 minutes, or longer if you can tell the lids still havent "popped" and sealed shut.

Remove the jars from the bath, turn upside down and let cool overnight.
They next day you can put them in the cupboard for storing or put in the fridge for immediate use!