My beloved’s sister (my wonderful sister-in-law Amy) wanted me to make a video concerning how to make Hot Pepper Jelly or Jalapenos Jelly, and since it sorta fit in what we’re doing I figured why not…
My mom calls my wife her “Daughter-in-Love” and frankly, I know why. I am extremely lucky with the in-laws that I have. They are pretty understanding about having a son in law that has some ideas that are so out of the box, they sometimes don’t even HAVE a box to come out of, so when my sister in law asked me to make her a you tube video, I had to do it.
I have been canning for a while, but this is my first attempt at jelly of any kind, but it did come out pretty good, if I do say so myself.
This doesn’t make a lot of jelly. That is especially true when you consider how much sugar it took to make it. However, it tastes pretty darn good with cream cheese and club crackers.
How to Make Hot Pepper Jelly
- 3/4 lb to 1 pound of Peppers
- 6 cups sugar
- 2 cups of 5% apple cider vinegar (or plain white 5% vinegar).
- 3 packets of dry pectin (or 3 pouches of liquid pectin)
- green food coloring (optional)
- Jar funnel
- Jar grabber
- At least 1 large pot
- large spoons and ladles
- Mason Jars (Jelly sized)
- 1 Water bath Canner
- One 6 – 8 quart pot or saucepan
- Selecting the peppers
- The fresher the better, preferably home grown for the best taste. As I said in the video, since Amy wanted jelly in February. I had to go to the store and paw through everything to get enough firm, crisp peppers.
- Select small peppers are best as bigger peppers are often tough. Try to stick with 1 inch to 1 and ¼-inch in diameter.
- You can use jalapeno, chili or any peppers you like!
- Prepare the jars and pressure canner
- If the jars are new and you have a sanitize cycle on your dishwasher. You could just wash them (alone in the washer), otherwise boil the jars for 10 minutes, and the lids for 5.
- Heat up your water bath canner heating up
- We will use the water bath canner because this is a high acid food so it doesn’t need to be pressure cooked.
- Wash the peppers
- Remove stems and seeds
- I cut off the tops and slit them in half and then used a spoon to scrape out the inner membrane.
- Since there is a compound in hot peppers that is used to make pepper spray (oleoresin capsicum) DO NOT touch your face or eyes after you handle the inside of the peppers. Immediately after I told Genny this she rubbed her eye, so we took a break while she learned why water does not take the oily resin out of your eye. She also learned that milk does a better job at taking the hot taste out of your mouth.
- Puree the peppers in a blender
- Add all the peppers (minus the seeds, stems, and insides to the blender along with half of the vinegar and blend to a paste.
- Measure the sweetener
- I suppose you can use different types of pectin and different types and amounts of sugar to make a no-sugar, splenda, or mixed jelly. But I wanted the sweetness to balance the heat, as well as a firm jelly to mix with my cream cheese so I used a no-sugar pectin and 6 cups of sugar for a firmer sweeter jelly.
- Mix the pectin and some sugar
- Mix the 2.5 (two and a half) packets of dry pectin with about 1/2 cup of sugar or other sweetener and set aside. (in the video I said 1.5 but I was mistaken)
- Cook the peppers, vinegar and sugar / sweetener
- Combine the pepper puree, the rest of the vinegar and the remaining sweetener in a pot and heat to a boil over medium heat, while stirring periodically, to prevent burning. Boil for 10 minutes, continuing to stir as needed to prevent burning.
- Add the pectin and boil hard for one minute
- After boiling for 10 minutes, add the pectin from step 7, return the mix to a boil and then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Skim any excessive foam
- Foam is just jelly with a lot of air, but air doesn’t taste like jelly, so people don’t want it in the jar (it also looks bad).
- You may read that a little butter reduces the foam, but that also affects shelf life.
- If you save the skimmed foam you can recover it and use it as fresh jelly.
- Testing for “jell” (thickness)
- Take about half a spoonful of the mix in a cold metal tablespoon and let it cool resting on a glass of ice water until it reaches room temperature. If it jells to the thickness you want, then its done, if its not as think add in a little more pectin (1/3 to 1/5 a pack) mix and boil again for another 10 minutes.
- Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on
- Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.
- The jelly cools rather quickly, and as it cools it jells, the last jar was a lot harder to fill than the first.
- Process the jars in the boiling water bath
- Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water.
- Keep the water boiling. for 10 minutes
- Remove and cool the jars
- Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool
- Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down.
- Any jars that the lids did not suck down are no good for storage, so mix them ½ and ½ with cream cheese and eat with crackers, it’s the only way I eat pepper jelly…