Fruit Spread, Jellies, Jams & Condiments

Pepper Jelly

Pepper Jelly Recipe

My boyfriend’s aunt makes pepper jelly every year and I fell in love with it.  Most people who I’ve talked to that have ever tried or heard of pepper jelly have only had it in the appetizer with cream cheese.  Others have never even heard of pepper jelly or have never tried it.  Pepper jelly can actually be used in a lot of different recipes and with different meals.  I enjoy it would grilled chicken or grilled pork.  I dip the chicken or pork into the pepper jelly.  People use it as a glaze and I’ve had it in a burrito as kind of like a salsa type thing.  If you google “using pepper jelly recipes,” it pulls up several ways that you can use pepper jelly in recipes.

There are different types of pepper jelly too.  I’ve had habanero peach pepper jelly and that is delicious.   The main ingredient I use is green bell peppers but there are tons of recipes out there with different variations of pepper jelly.  The recipe that I have below is the one that I use but you can change what peppers you use.  For the hot peppers, I use a variation of different hot peppers in my garden even though in my recipe I will write it as jalapenos.  If you want your pepper jelly less spicy, add less hot peppers and more bell peppers.  If you want your pepper jelly spicier, add more spicy peppers and less bell peppers. I made several jars with just green bell peppers.  I haven’t tried it yet so not sure how it tastes compared to the ones with spicy peppers.  When I do, I will update this post.

For the pectin, I buy the powdered pectin in a container instead of the packets and liquid.  Depending on if you get the instant or not, the pectin will make 15-22 half pint jars.  It is available at any store that has a canning section.  I like it because it costs about $5 and I can make a ton of pepper jelly jars as presents.  The container doesn’t expire for at least a year so if you store it in a cool cabinet, you can use it the next year.  One thing that is suggested on the container (I highly suggest too) is that you only do enough to fill up about 6 half pint jars (3 pint jars) because the pectin may not set correctly.  There are solutions online to help with this if needed.  I’ve never had any trouble though when I make it by following this rule of thumb.  I usually end up getting a system down where I’m making cooking a batch and have another batch waiting to go in the blender.

When making the pepper jelly, I use a regular blender.  There are some recipes that have you go through a cheese cloth to make the jelly so that there isn’t any pieces of pepper.  I like to keep those pieces because they are so small that you end of not even tasting it.  In my opinion running it through the cheese cloth just makes more work when you don’t have to worry about chewing the pieces.  Also, I think it makes it look like the jelly is not artificial and that real peppers were used.  Please leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it.

*Please note—When mixing in the peppers and apple cider vinegar in the blender, it must be up to 6 cups (this includes any foam) and not more or less. *

Ingredients:

4-5 large green peppers (7-8 medium green peppers)

4-5 jalapenos

5 cups of sugar

Pectin (look at packaging to determine how much; should be about 5-6 tablespoons)

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cut and de-seed all peppers. (If you are doing multiple batches, you can just cut and de-seed as you go but it makes it much easier and faster if you get this all done before blending and cooking the batches)
  2. Pour apple cider vinegar into the blender.
  3. Put in the jalapeno peppers first and blend.
  4. Add the green peppers and blend until you have 6 cups including the foam. (The foam will liquefy when it gets heated up)
  5. Pour blended pepper and apple cider vinegar in a large pot. (Once sugar is added and the mixture is heated the foam will rise so a large pot is suggested just in case)
  6. Pour in the sugar, mix and bring to a boil.
  7. Let the mixture boil for 10 minutes and stir occasionally. (You will want to make sure you are keeping a watch on the mixture because the foam will rise and overflow;  It makes a huge mess)

Canning Pepper Jelly:

  1. Make sure to clean the jars and 2 piece lids thoroughly (You can sterilize the jars if you want but since the jars will be process for 10 minutes or more it will be sterilized. To sterilize, I use the dishwasher for the jars and simmer the lids in water for 10 minutes.  Make sure to leave these items in the sterilized environment until used.)
  2. In a stockpot, fill with water that will at least be 1 inch higher than the mason jars and boil the water.
  3. Let the pepper jelly mixture sit off the heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Before filling the jars, mix the pepper jelly and skim off the foam.
  5. Using half-pint or pint mason jars, fill the mason jars with pepper jelly (using a jar funnel makes this easier and can be bought at any store that sells mason jars) leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  6. Make sure to take a wet cloth and clean the rim of the jars to ensure it’s clean before putting the lids on.
  7. Put both lids onto the jar and seal but not too tight.
  8. Once water is at a rolling boil, place mason jars into the stockpot and leave space between the mason jars so that none are touching each other.
  9. After you place the last mason jar into the stockpot, let the jars boil for 10 minutes. (https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE07_HomeCan_rev0715.pdf on page 7-8 there is a chart that shows how long you can boil the mason jars for; if you only have to boil for 5 minutes, I would suggest 10 minutes to sterilize the jars)
  10. When the jars are completed, take them out of the stockpot and place on a towel or any item to allow the jars to cool.
  11. Let jars cool for several hours before storing.

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