We have a bumper crop of peppers this year. And I got to the point where I was wondering what we were going to do with them all! Then I remembered… pepper jelly is an amazing sweet/spicy treat that makes a fantastic appetizer. So, the jars and canner came out and I got to work.
If you’ve followed along for a while, you know I’m not fantastic at making jams and jellies. Admittedly, they are simply not my strong suit. I can usually fix them, but… I usually mess them up at some point. Not so much with this pepper jelly recipe.
I can make it and it comes out perfect every time. And I’m glad, because it’s one of my favorite jellies and definitely a great way to preserve that bumper crop of peppers we have coming in.
If you’ve never tried it before, you’re in for a treat. It is absolutely fantastic mixed with a block of cream cheese and spread onto your favorite crackers. It also makes a great holiday gift, so make sure to make extras.
What does pepper jelly taste like?
It’s actually pretty sweet with a kick. The kick can be on the more mild side, or you can increase the hot peppers and make it a little hotter, the choice is yours. The recipe below can be modified a bit to put the heat level to your likeness. It’s set at a pretty mild heat that just about anyone can handle. Even my kids like it!
My oldest daughter likens it to a sweet and sour sauce with just a hint of heat to it. I tend to agree, it sounds strange… but it really is a great flavor combination.
What do you use pepper jelly for?
Like I said, spread on top of some cream cheese (or even your own, homemade goat cheese!) and put on crackers makes an amazing appetizer (or sandwich).
You can also use it as a mix into your stir fries (it mixes well with teriyaki inspired dishes). And it makes a great marinade for pork, chicken and salmon.
You could also use it plain spread on cornbread or as a filling for jalapeño poppers, just for a few ideas.
How long is pepper jelly good?
Well, it doesn’t last long in this house. But, once it’s canned and the seals are checked it can be stored for 18 months to two years.
Once your canned jars are open, they can be stored in the refrigerator where they should be used within two months.
If for whatever reason you choose not to can this recipe and simply store it in the refrigerator, use it within three weeks.
How to make pepper jelly
This is probably one of the best beginner jam recipes. You start by preparing your canning supplies. Once that’s started, you’ll get the jelly going.
You’ll seed and chop up your peppers finely. If you want a hotter jelly, add more hot peppers or use a hotter pepper (I used chili peppers in this batch, I usually use jalapeño). You want the pepper ratio to be a total of 4 cups. If you want it to be more mild, add more red bell peppers.
Also, just a note, you do not have to use red bell peppers, but they add a pretty color. If you have green, yellow, orange… any color or combination of colors will work. I use both green and red in mine.
After you’ve got those chopped, the hard work is over. Add them to a big pot, pour the apple cider vinegar in and the pectin. Heat everything up, stir constantly, and bring it to a rolling boil. Once there, shut off the heat and add in the sugar.
Once you have the sugar added, return it to heat and bring it back to a rolling boil. Boil at a rolling boil for exactly one minute. Remove from heat, skim off foam, pack jars leaving a 1/4″ of headspace and process for 5 minutes. That’s it.
Tips for making pepper jelly
- Adjust the heat to your liking. More hot peppers will equal a spicier jelly. Don’t like the heat? Add more bell peppers.
- This jelly is a little more runny than some others, but sets up well. You can test for gelling to make sure it’s going to properly set by placing a plate in the freezer for 15 minutes and then pouring a spoonful of jelly onto it. Allow it to cool. Take your finger through the middle of it. If it stays separated, it’s set. If it doesn’t, cook a little longer.
- This recipe can be safely doubled. That will yield approximately 12 half-pint, 8 ounce jars.
- Undercooked, runny jelly can be fixed working in 4 cup increments (four pints at a time). Start by combining the canned jelly with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of powdered pectin in a pot. Cook vigorously for 5-10 minutes and then check for gelling once it’s the desired thickness, remove it and process it the way you did before with clean jars and new lids.
A fantastic combination of sweet and a touch of spicy make this pepper jelly a beautiful, delicious appetizer and great way to preserve your pepper harvest.
- 2 1/2 Cups Red Bell Pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
- 1 1/4 Cups Green Bell Pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
- 1/4 Cup Jalapeño Pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
- 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1.75 Ounce Powdered Pectin
- 5 Cups Sugar
- Prepare 6 half-pint canning jars by washing them with hot, soapy water and placing in a water bath canner to heat.
- Place peppers, apple cider vinegar and pectin in a large pot and begin heating over medium high heat, stirring constantly and bring to a rolling boil.
- Remove pan from heat, stir in sugar.
- Return to medium-high heat, return to a rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and carefully ladle one ladle at a time (to evenly distribute peppers) into prepared jars leaving 1/4" of headspace. Wipe rims, place lids and finger tighten rings.
- Place jars in canner, process for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid, allow jars to sit for 5 minutes before removing to a towel-lined counter.
- Allow jars to sit for 12 to 24 hours before checking for proper seals and storing.
Serving Size:1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g
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