Friday, August 3, 2012

Hot Red Pepper Jelly

Hot Red Pepper Jelly

When I was in Charleston this past Thanksgiving, I went to one of my favorite restaurants in that area Hominy Grill and had the appetizer of goat cheese and hot pepper jelly on water crackers. It is one of my favorites; simple flavors and textures but so satisfying.

When my hot peppers started to come in this summer, I thought again of this concoction and instantly thought why would I buy this jelly when I can make my own. I have had this recipe on my "to do list" for quite a few weeks now but this past weekend, I am not sure if the craving got to be to much or if the stars were aligned just so and all other aspects of my life in order, but I set about the task of making this wonderful jelly. 

As I sit on my couch four days later, enjoying a glass of wine and a few crackers with goat cheese and my hot pepper jelly, I am feeling very accomplished.

Hot Red Pepper Jelly

A snack on the back porch

I read a lot of recipes on this type of jelly and there was differing information about whether or not you can use green peppers or really anything other than red. Some said that it would not have the right color if you incorporate green peppers. I however, was not going to go buy red peppers when my garden was giving me beautiful peppers in all colors. I used what I had which was 3 medium size red bell peppers, 4 Hungarian hot wax peppers and 3 jalapenos. I had plenty more peppers but that is the amount that was needed to get the recipe measurements right.

This recipe is a great starter recipe because it makes a small batch. I liked that! Since I have never made this before, I wanted to taste the result and fine tune as needed. It makes about 4 half pint jars. The resulting jelly was not very hot. It is sweet with a mild heat to it. It has fabulous pepper flavor. I will suggest that if you want more heat, you should use more hot peppers. My Hungarian wax peppers are very mild. I am beginning to harvest some Tabasco peppers and might try them in the next batch with more jalapenos for my friends who like a little more spice.

My garden's bounty

Hot Pepper Jelly

3 medium sweet read peppers, seeded, deribbed, and chopped or ground (to make 1 2/3 cups, with juice)
Enough small, fresh red hot peppers (jalapeno, thai chilies, or pizza peppers work well), seeded, deribbed, and coarsely chopped (to make about 1/2 cup)
2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 pouch  liquid pectin

Combine the peppers with the cider vinegar in a stainless-steel or enameled saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a  a sieve or cheesecloth being careful to not allow the pulp through. Drain without squeezing. Discard the pulp. (Note: this infusion can be made ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use).

Look at the amazing color. All the peppers in the pot getting ready to add vinegar and cook.

Measure 1 1/2 cups of the infusion into a 4-quart stainless-steel or enameled saucepan. Add the salt and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir over high head until the mixture comes to a full boil that can't be stirred down. Add pectin.

Make sure you use liquid pectin.

Return to a boil for 1 minute; remove from heat. Skim off the foam.

Cooked down and thick. Ready to skim foam (an important step.)

Divide the jelly into hot, sterilized, half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Top with hot sterilized lids and rings making sure to wipe rims if any jelly was spilled. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely. Listen for jar lids to pop and make sure all are completely sealed.  Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within a week.

A great way to eat this jelly is on a cracker of your choice with a small amount of cream cheese or goat chevre and then with about half a teaspoon of this jelly.


Anonymous said...

Ron loves pepper anything, so I am going to try this jelly!

Rebecca said...

Great! Let me know how it turns out for you!

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