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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hot Pepper Jelly / Jalea de Chili Picante

Found some beautiful sweet peppers at the Farmers' Market (Feria del Agriculture) in Grecia yesterday, so I picked up a couple of dozen for around $3 USD. Today I combined them with the Jalapeño peppers growing in our garden to make some hot pepper jelly. The recipe makes a delicious, mild hot pepper jelly. It's just not hot enough for our palates, so next time I'm going to kick it up a notch with about 3 or 4 more hot peppers.

7½ cups finely chopped sweet peppers
½ cup finely chopped Jalapeño or Serrano peppers (about 6)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 (1.75 ounce) packages powdered pectin
10 cups white sugar

Sterilize 6 (16 ounce) canning jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions. You can use any combination of jar sizes to come up with approximately 96 ounces. I usually boil the lids in a large sauce pans and boil the jars in the rack of the canning pot according to the manufacturer's instructions. I then just leave the lids and jars in the hot water until ready to fill.

The easiest way to chop the peppers is in a food processor. Remove all the seeds and membranes and cut them in large chunks for the food processor. You should wear gloves to trim the hot peppers and avoid inhaling the fumes. Thoroughly mix the hot and sweet peppers together.

Place the peppers in a stock pot over high heat. Mix in vinegar and fruit pectin. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to rolling boil. Quickly add the sugar. Stir constantly and bring it back to a full rolling boil for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and if necessary, skim off any foam.

Ladle the jelly into sterile jars, to within ¼ inch of the tops. Cover with flat lids, and screw on bands tightly.

Place jars into the rack in the canning pot. The water should completely cover the jars, and it should be hot, but not boiling. Bring water to a boil, and process for 5 minutes.

Remove the jars and allow them to cool completely at room temperature.

Server on crackers, over cream cheese, or mixed with cream cheese and/or sour cream for a sweet and spicy dip.

Experiment with all green, all red, or all yellow sweet peppers for a different eye appeal.

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